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Need input by Chief08
Started on: 04-10-2017 09:35 PM
Replies: 25 (326 views)
Last post by: Chief08 on 04-14-2017 12:41 AM
Chief08
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Report this Post04-10-2017 09:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm seriously considering buying an 88GT 5spd with 30K miles, had it inspected (it's in a different state) and it checked out ok. My only hang up is the lack of power these things have, I know engine swaps can be done be they seem to be expensive and time consuming so I'm really on the fence at this point. What do you guys think?
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Report this Post04-10-2017 10:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Chief08:
I know engine swaps can be done be they seem to be expensive and time consuming


Speed costs money... regardless of whether you try to polish the stock turd, or you do a swap.
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Chief08
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Report this Post04-10-2017 10:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by pmbrunelle:


Speed costs money... regardless of whether you try to polish the stock turd, or you do a swap.


It's not so much the money I'm worried about as is it worth it, reliability and down time. I'm basically looking for someone to talk me into or out of buying the car.
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Report this Post04-10-2017 10:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for boysattClick Here to Email boysattSend a Private Message to boysattEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you want more power, buy one that someone has already done the swap on or buy a newer more powerful car. The fiero is a unique car and most guys could care less that the stock v6 does not make a ton of power. Being your looking at a 5 speed car it will feel more powerful than a auto since you can get on it more in lower gears.

I have swapped a LT1 V8, 3800 supercharged, supercharged ecotec, and a H23 Turbo honda motor into fiero's over the years. All the swaps had there own perks. But now my daily driver fiero is a 86GT with a 3.4 Camaro V6 (only pretty much direct interchange motor with the 2.8) with a modified 4 speed auto. Everything still looks stock under the hood and drives like a dream.

Everyone wants more power, and I used to be the same, but these days I just want good drivability. If I want to go fast I drive my corvette, lol.
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Report this Post04-10-2017 10:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for busa_poweredClick Here to Email busa_poweredSend a Private Message to busa_poweredEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you are buying a low mileage vehicle with that few of miles, I wouldn't buy that one, you are probably paying quite a bit for its low mileage only to take the engine out and replace it.

You would be better off buying a car that already has an engine transplant.

There are some nice ones out there, just need to decide whether you like 3800 Superchargeds or V8's, those are the most popular swaps.
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Chief08
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Report this Post04-10-2017 10:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I know the 3.4PR is the cheapest and easiest but not much bang for the buck. I think I'd be most interested in the 3800SC although it seems to be much more involved.
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Danyel
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Report this Post04-10-2017 10:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DanyelClick Here to visit Danyel's HomePageSend a Private Message to DanyelEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You can read alot of swaps here on PFF and I for one know you will NEVER EVER get your money back or even close... if your lookin for speed for cheap. FORGET IT Fieros are not going up in price and if you want to swap in a SC V6 or an V8 , be ready to clean out your bank account. I've been a fiero owner since 1984 ... had all models even one with a V8 ... lost my ass on many of them due to rust..... I bought my 88 Automoda Convertible Formula 2 years ago.... this one I will keep it stock 2.8 and drive it in summer tome with the top down.... will only do maintenance and a couple of doodads.... thats all. I've invested thousands in Fieros never eas able to make money with them... this is the last one ... lost too much....

by the way .... welcome to the forum

Danyel

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Report this Post04-10-2017 10:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wgpierceSend a Private Message to wgpierceEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If money is no object buy that one and swap a motor into it. You'll get a fast car, unique and not too worn out car.

If money is sort of OK, then don't buy that one, just buy one already swapped and done
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Chief08
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Report this Post04-10-2017 10:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think I'd like to buy the one I'm looking at and have a swap done by a competent reputable shop/person, reliability is just as important to me as performance.
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Report this Post04-10-2017 10:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Once you have a swapped car, you can't go back, you're stuck with an undocumented engine that will forever be difficult for anyone to repair. So if some shop does the swap for you, you may as well be married to that shop.

At least if you want a swapped car, you should do it yourself, so you know it like the back of your hand. Then, repairs in the future are simple (at least for you, maybe not the next guy).
If you can't do it yourself, drop into the shop frequently to stay up-to-date on what they're doing.

I would not buy a completed swapped car; that's just buying problems, or many unknowns at the least.
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Chief08
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Report this Post04-10-2017 10:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Problem is, I don't have the space, tools a know how to pull off doing it myself. Not to stay that I don't have any knowledge of mechanics, just never done anything of that magnitude and would probably need help.
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Report this Post04-10-2017 11:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well if it's a shop that's doing it, keep tabs on them (perhaps a daily 10 minute visit), and make sure that they make a parts list.

For example, random parts such as coolant hoses may belong neither to the Fiero nor to the donor car. So your part list must have the make/model/year for the special coolant hose, so later, a replacement can be quickly found.

Every customized part on the swap installation needs to have an explanation. A part number, or instructions on how to make a new one.

Particularly, if you are military, you may need to move elsewhere, which will break your relationship with your local shop. So once you set foot in a new base, it's the completeness of the part list, and your memory which will permit a new mechanic to continue any maintenance work.
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Chief08
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Report this Post04-10-2017 11:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by pmbrunelle:

Well if it's a shop that's doing it, keep tabs on them (perhaps a daily 10 minute visit), and make sure that they make a parts list.

For example, random parts such as coolant hoses may belong neither to the Fiero nor to the donor car. So your part list must have the make/model/year for the special coolant hose, so later, a replacement can be quickly found.

Every customized part on the swap installation needs to have an explanation. A part number, or instructions on how to make a new one.

Particularly, if you are military, you may need to move elsewhere, which will break your relationship with your local shop. So once you set foot in a new base, it's the completeness of the part list, and your memory which will permit a new mechanic to continue any maintenance work.


Well said, we are actually looking at moving to Florida in the near future so any work wouldn't begin until after that.
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Report this Post04-11-2017 08:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For the money you are going to spend on a 30K mile 88 Fiero + paying a shop to do an engine swap you will be into the car for $15-$20K+.

There are a lot of nice cars with completed engine swaps in that range, so you might want to see what that kind of budget will buy. Here is one:
//www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum4/HTML/075394.html
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Report this Post04-11-2017 09:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here's the thing, if you are buying a Fiero it's a 30 year old car with 30 year old car problems like worn bushings, tired hoses, electrical gremlins, 30 year old technology and of course rust.
Tools and knowledge you can acquire (plenty of knowledge on here). I started at the no tools and knowledge end (although I had been a biker in my youth and Brit bikes teach you a lot about keeping old junk running) but I'd never done car stuff or pulled a car engine before.
You say you have no space which means that for anything beyond basic stuff (check the oil etc) you will be going to a shop and quite simply, that costs $$$$. Fieros can cost enough to keep on the road even when you do it yourself (just spent $600 on mine to put a new gearbox in when the old one died. $300 for the box, $100 shipping and $200 for new shift cables). And that was with ME doing all the work!

Personally I think that the v6 Fiero is plenty fast enough and a load of fun to drive but if you really need more power then I think the 3800 SC swap is probably one of the more common ones that has been done and seems to give plenty of bang for the $. But if a shop is doing the swap then I'd say you need find a shop that has actually done one before (not that common) rather than any local shop unless you happen to know/trust one to do the swap properly. Either way, it's gonna cost you big time for the work and you'd still have all the 'other' problems to address as they occur (and they will!).

Not trying to put you off buying a Fiero, just trying to be realistic about your situation and the potential cost. As stated previously, by the time you are done, you'll be in it for 10-15k and for that money, personally I'd buy a used 370z (at least the a/c would work).

Fieros are great cars and seem to be getting rarer all the time. I never see one on the road now, but they are a bit of a money pit. They make great hobby cars but for the most part (and I know some will disagree with me here) not great primary transport.

That's just my $0.02 worth.

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Chief08
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Report this Post04-11-2017 10:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You have given me a lot to think about, lol.
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Chief08
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Report this Post04-11-2017 10:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Chief08

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Member since Feb 2017
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:

For the money you are going to spend on a 30K mile 88 Fiero + paying a shop to do an engine swap you will be into the car for $15-$20K+.

There are a lot of nice cars with completed engine swaps in that range, so you might want to see what that kind of budget will buy. Here is one:
//www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum4/HTML/075394.html


Wow, that is one extreme/wild Fiero.
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ron768
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Report this Post04-11-2017 01:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ron768Click Here to Email ron768Send a Private Message to ron768Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
In my honest opinion, I would not buy an 88 GT that has low miles on it then do an engine swap. If it has been damaged or has a blown engine, then by all means do so. 88's are supposed to be the year of the Fiero that may someday be a collectors item. ( No I do not own one I have an 85 and 2 86's) I would look for a car that already has been swapped if I wanted more power.
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Chief08
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Report this Post04-11-2017 03:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ron768:

In my honest opinion, I would not buy an 88 GT that has low miles on it then do an engine swap. If it has been damaged or has a blown engine, then by all means do so. 88's are supposed to be the year of the Fiero that may someday be a collectors item. ( No I do not own one I have an 85 and 2 86's) I would look for a car that already has been swapped if I wanted more power.


I have thought about that and it makes sense which is another reason I'm undecided. From what I've read the 2.8 doesn't respond well to mods either. Maybe I'll just go with it as is, I just don't like knowing that my wife could blow my doors off with her Grand Cherokee lol.

[This message has been edited by Chief08 (edited 04-11-2017).]

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ltlfrari
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Report this Post04-11-2017 05:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The other thing to consider with an 88 is the front wheel bearings. They are not as plentiful as the earlier years. Rodney had a load made some time ago but I don't know if he still does them or if they have all gone.
On the plus side, the 88 does drive nicer out of the gate and the stock brakes are better in my opinion.

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Report this Post04-13-2017 11:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ron768Click Here to Email ron768Send a Private Message to ron768Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Many years ago, there was an article where an owner wanted to see if rated horsepower could be achieved at the rear wheels. They took a 86 or 87 GT and did mods to see what could be had from a 2.8. Cam, exhaust, head work, air intake and fuel . Yes, the motor came out of the car. No, they did NOT increase displacement .(if memory serves me correctly) The stock 2.8 made 110 hp at the rear wheels, the modified 2.8 made 135hp at the rear wheels. I no longer have the magazine that the article was in so I cant tell what amount of money was spent. This was back in 1987 or 88, so the price would have been less than now. From what I read, the 2.8 responded about as well as any other motor. The end result was still a long way from 1 horsepower per cubic inch of displacement , but was enough that the driver could tell that it was no longer a stock motor. The motor currently in my car has a cam, roller rockers, exhaust manifold porting, and it does rev faster than the stock one did. I may see if I can get it on a dyno to see if it makes more hp sometime.
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Report this Post04-13-2017 11:57 AM 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
You didn't say how much the low mile 88 GT was going to cost. I'm guessing it's not inexpensive, however. That would be the deciding factor for me.
(I'm one of those people who can leave NOTHING stock, so I understand where you're coming from.)
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Report this Post04-13-2017 11:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ron768:

In my honest opinion, I would not buy an 88 GT that has low miles on it then do an engine swap. ....
I would look for a car that already has been swapped if I wanted more power.


This is what I recommend too.
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Chief08
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Report this Post04-13-2017 12:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The car is going for $11K. Is there a standard "kit" or parts list for say a 3800SC swap?
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pmbrunelle
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Report this Post04-13-2017 11:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Why not get an Archie V8 swap?

There's one standard, well-documented (via his instructions) way to do it.

Everyone does their 3800 swaps their own individual way; there is no kind of centralized authority or direction.
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Report this Post04-14-2017 12:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Chief08Click Here to Email Chief08Send a Private Message to Chief08Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That's a possibility I had not considered.
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