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Swapping my 3800 over to a new body! (Build thread?) by Threedog
Started on: 03-05-2016 10:31 PM
Replies: 18 (614 views)
Last post by: Threedog on 05-02-2016 06:45 PM
Threedog
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Report this Post03-05-2016 10:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ThreedogClick Here to Email ThreedogSend a Private Message to ThreedogEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Many of you have seen my posts asking about my terrible rust problems on my current 3800 Fiero, so I decided to do something about it. I bought one from New Mexico and towed it back! $1700 got me an 87 T-Toped GT 5-speed with 58,000 miles. The car had a bad fuel pump so I needed to tow it back, the rust underneath(or lack of any..) is incredible. It also came with extra T-tops, new Quarter Windows, and 17 inch wheels.


Towing it with my dads tiny Blazer was quite the trip, but we made it all 1600 miles back to Michigan in one piece!


I am not sure if this is really weird or not, but I snapped a picture of the underbody on my way back, it came out well and really shows how great desert cars are.


Anyway, I started the task of swapping over all the parts from my current car over to this one. I didn't have a lot of space to work with, but I managed to get the cradle out of the new car. Tomorrow I will be taking the engine out of the old one.

Here is an album of the "Donor" car, as you can see I had already put a lot of work into it before I decided it was time to get a new body..


Anyway, I will be updating this thread every night this week, as I will be taking all week to get the car up and running. I have the luxury of using a very nice camera, so I have many high quality pictures that could be shared on request. Also, I will be parting out my blue car and have tons of spare parts, as I put parts on I will post my duplicates for sale if anyone wants them.
Edited to add properly sized images

[This message has been edited by Threedog (edited 03-07-2016).]

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JohnWPB
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Report this Post03-05-2016 10:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JohnWPBClick Here to visit JohnWPB's HomePageSend a Private Message to JohnWPBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Good luck on the swap.

On a side note, you REALLY need to reduce the images before posting. I am running at 1920 x 1080 resolution on a 32" LCD screen, and the images are 3 times the size of my screen. I am imagine some poor soul trying to view it on their smart phone hahaah!

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jscott1
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Report this Post03-05-2016 11:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Not sure what camera you are using but at 6016 x 4000 that is waaaaay too big to post to any forum.

Also curious what vehicle you told Uhaul you were towing? Most times if you tell them it's a Fiero (towing backwards) they won't rent it. I usually say a Sunbird or some other GM FWD car.

This should be a nice build to watch. Fiero owners are always talking about how easy it is to swap over parts, but I don't recall too many build threads where it's done.
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Threedog
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Report this Post03-06-2016 07:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ThreedogClick Here to Email ThreedogSend a Private Message to ThreedogEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:

Not sure what camera you are using but at 6016 x 4000 that is waaaaay too big to post to any forum.

Also curious what vehicle you told Uhaul you were towing? Most times if you tell them it's a Fiero (towing backwards) they won't rent it. I usually say a Sunbird or some other GM FWD car.

This should be a nice build to watch. Fiero owners are always talking about how easy it is to swap over parts, but I don't recall too many build threads where it's done.



I am just gonna post links to view directly on imgur instead of the forum. The high resolution is kind of the point, many pictures on this forum are way too low quality to pick out any details.


And yeah, Uhaul was a mess. They said I could tow a Fiero but it had to be an 84. If I towed a Fiero with a 2.8 my blazer wasn't heavy enough to tow it. So I just said it was an 84 and didnt mention anything to them. They also wanted me to disconnect drive axles and tow it forward, which I just did not do hahaha.
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Indyellowgt
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Report this Post03-06-2016 07:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IndyellowgtClick Here to Email IndyellowgtSend a Private Message to IndyellowgtEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sweet! It's not crazy at all to be in awe and take pics of the clean underbelly! Being in the same swath of horrid salt belt as you,rust free cars are a premium!
I have not traveled far and long for a Fiero in a long while. Maybe it's time again!

You should do a build thread! Why not, all the other kids are doing it! 😁

Get your pic sizing down, like others have mentioned and have at it!

Good deal, BTW on your purchase! Have fun and good luck with it all!

Mark
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jscott1
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Report this Post03-06-2016 02:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Links to high res photos are fine, but over time the links tend to go dead. So if it's not too much trouble it would be nice to also post some rezied photos posted to the forum as well.

Down here in Texas rust free cars is the norm. Even though we have lots of humidity, there is no such thing as road salt, at least here in Houston. I've seen cars go to the crusher here with nicer frames than the folks up north are driving. That's why I'm interested to see a frame swap which I rarely see done.
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ignorant prodigy
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Report this Post03-06-2016 06:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ignorant prodigyClick Here to Email ignorant prodigySend a Private Message to ignorant prodigyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
nice score!
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Threedog
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Report this Post03-06-2016 08:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ThreedogClick Here to Email ThreedogSend a Private Message to ThreedogEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:

Links to high res photos are fine, but over time the links tend to go dead. So if it's not too much trouble it would be nice to also post some rezied photos posted to the forum as well.




Alright, noted. Ill add some in forum pictures when I have the ability to resize them(at my computer at my apartment, I am currently at my parents house working on the project).

Today I spent my time taking my 3800 out of the Blue Fiero, I used the "Log method" this time instead of the "Hoist method". It worked out WAY easier for me. Not saying it will for everyone, but it did for me.


Anyway, I planned to have a ton of pictures for you guys comparing the two cars, but I was just too exhausted, so I promise I will get a lot of pictures up tomorrow to show the difference between Michigan and New Mexico cars. That is why I want to put this thread up, hopefully no one buys a project Fiero in the rust belt...hahaha.

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Threedog
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Report this Post03-07-2016 09:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ThreedogClick Here to Email ThreedogSend a Private Message to ThreedogEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Before I provide updates on my build I have to questions related to the new body I picked up...


The car is an 87, but it has two things I do not recognize.

First is the heater return. It appears to be spliced into the return on the passenger side of the car. I thought this was only a thing for the 88s? But more importantly, does that mean I can just plug the return line out of my tensioner bracket on my 3800?


Second, my gasoline evap line. On my 86 it went straight to the charcoal canister, on this one it appears to go over to the right into this other canister(pictured circled in blue) and then back over to the charcoal canister. What is the reason for this, or is this how they are all supposed to be?



My last question is regarding my transmission. In trying to get the old axle shaft seals out of the transmission, I marred the housing a bit. I have not put the new ones in yet, is there anything I can do but hope for the best with the new seals? Pictures below.


Anyway, yesterday I was able to get both engines out and off their cradles. The only meaningful picture is the mess my garage turned into, here:




Today I spent the day getting the white Fiero ready for the donor engine. First thing to do in any project is to get the car clean. First thing I did was rip all of the old crappy insulation out to prep for installation of newer, better, stuff. After that was all gone, I cleaned out the whole bay. Only rust I could find was on the battery tray. Side note: Anyone have any idea why my passenger side strut tower looks like someone forgot to paint it?


This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

.




Every part of the bay does not get covered by engine bay insulation is going to get a few coats of POR-15, I am NOT letting this car turn into a rust bucket like my 86. The drivers side rear cradle mount was just about gone on my 86.. Ill leave you guys with these two comparison shots between a desert car and a rust belt car.





Tomorrow I plan on getting the bay insulated, painted, the cradle/engine cleaned, and the old engine bay gutted out.

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Gall757
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Report this Post03-07-2016 10:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Threedog:

Second, my gasoline evap line. On my 86 it went straight to the charcoal canister, on this one it appears to go over to the right into this other canister(pictured circled in blue) and then back over to the charcoal canister. What is the reason for this, or is this how they are all supposed to be?



Yes.

The fuel tank was re-designed for '87 & '88 to include an overflow tank in the fender. This allows for a larger main tank and no risk of contaminating the charcoal in the vapor canister.
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Threedog
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Report this Post03-07-2016 10:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ThreedogClick Here to Email ThreedogSend a Private Message to ThreedogEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gall757:


Yes.

The fuel tank was re-designed for '87 & '88 to include an overflow tank in the fender. This allows for a larger main tank and no risk of contaminating the charcoal in the vapor canister.


Will the tank from my 86 fit? I'd prefer not to to swap out the fuel pumps but I will if I have to.

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Gall757
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Report this Post03-07-2016 10:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Threedog:


Will the tank from my 86 fit? I'd prefer not to to swap out the fuel pumps but I will if I have to.


I suppose it would. It's about a gallon smaller. Is it difficult to swap the sender assemblies?
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Threedog
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Report this Post03-07-2016 10:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ThreedogClick Here to Email ThreedogSend a Private Message to ThreedogEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gall757:


I suppose it would. It's about a gallon smaller. Is it difficult to swap the sender assemblies?

:
Not really, its just I painted my old tank and I like the way it looks.. If it really is a full gallon I might just cut my losses and swap the senders anyway haha.

[This message has been edited by Threedog (edited 03-07-2016).]

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Gall757
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Report this Post03-07-2016 10:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The book says 10.2 gal vs. 11.9 gal.
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Threedog
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Report this Post03-07-2016 10:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ThreedogClick Here to Email ThreedogSend a Private Message to ThreedogEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gall757:

The book says 10.2 gal vs. 11.9 gal.


Jesus, I am keeping the new one for sure. Thanks man, I never would have even thought of that.
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Report this Post03-07-2016 11:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Check for rust in the bottom of the 87 gas tank. If it's rusty then I'd keep the 86 even though it's smaller. The 3800 is known for it's good gas mileage you probably wouldn't notice the difference too much.

In my opinion swapping senders/fuel pumps is nearly the exact same amount of work as swapping tanks. You need to drop both tanks either way.

[This message has been edited by jscott1 (edited 03-07-2016).]

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Threedog
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Report this Post03-08-2016 10:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ThreedogClick Here to Email ThreedogSend a Private Message to ThreedogEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Today I was able to get my engine bay insulation in.

I know it may not be as "pretty" as stuff that comes out of a spray gun, but this stuff does wonders to reduce heat and noise. It is thick and heavy so it reduces vibration as well as heat transfer. I lined the trunk with it as well in the desperate attempt to keep it somewhat cool back there..


.

.



I was also able to get my rear strut springs/covers swapped over from the old car to the new one, they look WAY better.




The cradle is simply missing a powerwashing and an engine, then it should be good to go.




Finally, I got my flywheel balanced today. Turns out there were some huge issues from the factory with it. You can see the big chunk missing from the inner "ring", I thought it was intentional but it threw it WAY off.




So the guy had to make it look a little like Swiss Cheese when he balanced it with the flex plate. Whatever, balanced is balanced..



Anyway. Tomorrow is washing and painting at the very least, maybe a new rear main seal on the 3800(the imbalanced flywheel screwed it real bad). I'll see where I get!
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Report this Post03-14-2016 04:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Amen on the heat the 3800 puts out!! I would like to find a way to take care of that. I wished the PO of my car had installed insulation. Next biggest item I have is, noise. The exhaust system will give ya a headache at speeds around 70. Your new 87 looks good. Wow 58,000 miles that car must look like a new one and from the southwest. You did well. My first Fiero was from Texas originally even thought it spent some years in Pittsburgh. Nice not to have any rust to speak of. Oh I have an 87 Pontiac Dealer order guide, so if you need any info on you car I can look it up. I used to sell Pontiacs. Good luck on the car. We are starting to get some nice weather here in Michigan. I put the summer tires on, new spark plugs in the 3800SC and it runs great for now.

[This message has been edited by solotwo (edited 03-14-2016).]

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Threedog
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Report this Post05-02-2016 06:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ThreedogClick Here to Email ThreedogSend a Private Message to ThreedogEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I realized I complete forgot about posting here, between school work and the car it slipped my mind. So I will continue! The car is much further than the pictures show, but I will be adding pics as I have time.


Anyway, here is my documentation of the side marker LED lights. Hopefully this can help someone out who is as clumsy as I am! It ended up costing about $10 in glue and paint, both of which ended up repairing both of my sidemarkers.

We start with separating the back plate from inside the sidemarker light. This is certainly the most difficult part. I used a heat gun on low and warmed up the glue, then proceed to pry at the "back plate" with a screw driver. Well, one of them worked well, the other...the other not so much. It was destroyed.




Instead of spending $20 on a brand new one(only to likely have something similar happen), I decided to repair it. I used some 3500 psi plastic welder I got from the hardware store as an adhesive.



Starting with the back plates, I found a piece of wood and got some painters tape secured nice and flat so it would hold the pieces.


I mixed some of the glue and generously covered the section needing repair. After mixing it, it reminds me of something, but I can't quite put my finger on it...


I also used a broken piece from a spare one as a bit of a "reinforcement" to hold it together.



Let it dry for a few hours. Since the other side needs to be smooth for me to mount the LED strip, so I had to sand it down. It came out looking great!



Now for the much harder part, tackling the broken housing.


I used painters tape but this time wrapped it around the good part of the housing. This way I could generously apply the adhesive and put the parts in place. Note: I simply let them "sit" in place, I did not hold them together with pressure. This adhesive is strong enough that once it sets, it will create its own "plastic", no matter the size of the gap. The end result was pretty messy:


Once again it must be sanded down. I used a Dremel tool to get rid of the extra adhesive/plastic on the inside. I ended up removing the paint as well, so they will have to be repainted, not a big deal. Here are a few pictures after sanding. The first is the end, the others are other joints I repaired in the same manner.

Here is the break right after the light(it broke in half):


After paint you will not even be able to tell! This stuff is very strong, honestly I question whether those plastic "welds" are stronger than the rest of the light... Anyway, here is a picture with the LED strips in them, up next to my rear side markers(ignore the painters tape haha).


Ill post some pictures about sealing them and hooking them up to the car a little later and edit them in here. For now I am sifting through pictures of other projects..

[This message has been edited by Threedog (edited 05-02-2016).]

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