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Interesting Read by busa_powered
Started on: 07-16-2017 11:23 PM
Replies: 6 (397 views)
Last post by: Shho13 on 07-19-2017 05:12 PM
busa_powered
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Report this Post07-16-2017 11:23 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 this has been reposted, I apologize.

Guy seemed to be around during the Fiero development

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http://barnfinds.com/v8-powered-pontiac-fiero/

[This message has been edited by busa_powered (edited 07-16-2017).]

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Report this Post07-17-2017 11:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Cool...

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timbo

Feb 15, 2016 at 1:05pm


Van, first sneak peaks were either in Car and Driver or Motor trend in 1982. I was the one and only advanced engine engineer at Pontiac Engineering and in 1982 got the assignment to find an optional engine for the Fiero. Almost everything GM had fit in the rear engine compartment with the 90 degree V configurations packaging the best. At the time, there was tremendous competition between Pontiac and Chevrolet so I did not even propose as SMB. The Cadillac 4.9 iron head aluminum block V8 and the Buick iron even fire 3800 dropped right in. Our asst chief at the time didn’t want to tell me what to do but encouraged me to look at the 60 degree V6 “corporate” engine manufactured by Chevrolet. I heard GM’s engineering staff was working on an all aluminum version so I visited them. They had production tooled the aluminum sand cast head with Karl Schmidt and the die cast aluminum block at a GM Central Foundry. After a short discussion, we decided to increase the bore .014″ to just barely make it a 2.9L and turbo charge it. Usage would be a low volume optional engine for the STE and the 1986 Fiero. E staff supported it 100% supplying heads, aluminum rocker covers, blocks, head gaskets and I was responsible for the intake, throttle body, exhaust manifolds, turbocharger and related hardware design and engineering. The rest of the parts I got from Chevy. We built 2 LA9’s (that was the production RPO I picked which stood for aluminum 2.9L), and 4 STE’s both autos and manuals. The Fieros were crazy fast with 4 sec 0-60’s and ended up scarring the beezus out of our GM president when he spun out on a damp surface one morning. It was just the reason he needed to support Chevy’s protest (it was faster and cheaper than the Corvette) and kill the project. We still needed an optional engine, so that night we put the red turbo intake and Holley throttle body on an iron 2.8L, the sexy red aluminum rocker covers, and the SS turbo exhaust manifolds, dropped it in an engineering car and presented it as the optional engine for the 2M6 THE NEXT MORNING.. What sold it was the ease which we pulled this off and later when dynoed, we learned the 2.8 with the PONTIAC engineered intake and exhaust made more power than Chevy’s X11 H.O. package, causing them to loose the H.O. designation. As they say on Gas Monkey, ” have you some of that Chevy!!!!!” The top of engine parts from the LA9 turbo made it into production as originally designed and developed on the iron V6.
The LA9’s got photographed on the top of some mountain In Colorado on an engineering trip to the Desert Proving Grounds. We were calibrating A/F and spark on the fly and were making some changes. That’s how we did things at Pontiac. Best job I ever had. There ya go, long answer to a short question.

Read more at http://barnfinds.com/v8-pow...tY61psgI10Z4gZGq.99"
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Report this Post07-17-2017 11:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Might as well post the good stuff over in case someone deletes it

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timbo

Feb 15, 2016 at 6:55pm


Alan, no I was never invited to the press events at Pontiac. Guys like Carl Sheffer, Jill and Gary Witzenburg handled the press. I WAS ALWAYS WORKING. At the time, Pontiac “claimed to build excitement”. Here was the line up in that time period: Parisenne, 6000, T2000, J2000, Phoenix and Firebird. We didn’t even have exciting names. Lots of work to do. My first assignment when transferred to engineering from car assembly was to finish the design/release of the 301 turbo. This was supposed to be the 400 T/A performance replacement. This package went from approval to production in 14 months, which today is unheard of. The downside was Pontiac had never produced a turbo engine, and the LAYOUT WAS TOTALLY A BAD IDEA with a trubo designed for a truck. Sucking fuel through a carb with the fuel impinging on the compressor wheel creating resistance to it speeding up was STUPID. Being a farm boy from Iowa this was obvious, however, an influential (and very smart) manager would not agree to change it to a “blow through” due to concern of fuel squirting out the carb shaft seals and propensity for a “thermal event”, and we could not miss the 1980 launch and Indy Pace car opportunity. Some of the projects I had a big hand in were the creation of the STE, 1.8 J2000 turbo MPFI (first electronic MPFI speed density turbo ever at 91 HP/L, Pontiac/Brodix cyl heads for NASCAR sold through the Pontiac ad building mail room, SD4 super duty four cyl for 1984 Fiero pace car, midgets and baby grand national cars, Manhattan (integral block head), Power cube (integral inline 6 and 5 speed trans), truck inline 6/5/4 and too many more advanced engines that never were produced but many concepts and features were implemented over the years. When GM Powertrain was created, I was blessed with the engineering directorship of the Advanced Engine and Propulsion Systems for 8 years and then became the director if all gas engine development/calibration and validation for last 4 years before retiring. At our peak in advanced engines, we were designing and developing 3 all new engine concepts and many individual engine technologies a year. A very talented and skilled group that could do anything.
The group had a huge contribution to the LS engine, inline 6/5/4 including a turbo L5 for the Hummer 3 that should have gone into production, convincing the corporation of the value of step gear transmissions with more than 4 speeds, the value of inline 6 cylinder engines and all aluminum engines, finger follower OHC valve train, cylinder deactivation,cam phasing and all engine subsystem advancement for cost, quality, mass and efficiency. Today, all GM engines, pushrod and DOHC are conceptually identical in all the subsystems and merely sized for the application.
On a personal note back to the Chevy rivalry, before I even graduated from GMI, I had a 389 powered 54 Corvette. Talk about pissing the ” bowties” off. If you want to see my hot rod which was a Iowa barn find, go to the May 2014 Hot Rod issue, or google Tim Petersen 1937 Chevy 30CHVN.

Read more at http://barnfinds.com/v8-pow...tY61psgI10Z4gZGq.99"

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timbo

Feb 18, 2016 at 11:13pm


Van, I didn’t understand the Ron Pratte/BJ comment. I do know Ron, we were at his desert compound for his new years eve celebration. An unbelievable experience for car guys. I was also at his sand car repair shop today in Chandler chatting with his full time sand car mechanic that takes care of the fleet. BTW all of Pratte’s sand cars have LS engines. He told me there is sand in the oil every oil change and they just keep running. I was visibly shocked. I’m not surprised at the Alcan space frames, that project rings a bell. There was a lot of effort to make the Fiero great and the 1988’s were pretty good. Hadn’t heard the story about selling front end suspension modules in the aftermarket. I do have twin Fiero fuel tanks in my channeled hot rod, which was a perfect solution.
Alan, I hadn’t heard of that rag until now. Still writing? I assume you were talking about the Grand Prix McLaren turbo. No it was not a 301 turbo. Rich Oppman, who was in Pontiac planning at the time, commissioned that project out of frustration working with the “system”, less than 1000 were built. I gave them all my LA9 (aluminum 2.9L V6 turbo) drawings/models and I believe they used some of that design. I doubt that they addressed the week link which was the crankshaft and only advertised 205 HP out of the 3.1 which is pitiful for a turbo engine. My wife’s GXP Soltice is 260 HP out of a 2.0 L, much more respectful. One of the more exciting days was when we broke a LA9 turbo V6 crank at full load in a Pontiac dyno. The bottom end blew out, the flywheel and part of the crank hit the outside exit door and spun across the parking lot like a top. I then designed a forged crank but my pussy boss (x Chev ahole) would not let me order the tools for experimental parts. A few days later, I got a call from the Pontiac General Manager who had taken an experimental LA9 auto STE home and said he threw an accessory drive belt leaving a light on the way to work. Yup, broke another crank but not nearly as exciting. We sent our hook and another car. He pulled me into his office that afternoon and asked if we could fix it. I said it’s already done and ready to order experimental forged cranks (of course had no analysis to back that claim up). He then gave me the bad news that he wasn’t willing to burn a “chit” with the corporate guys downtown to force the engine program through. I was really disappointed but was impressed the big guy in the big office took the time to talk to me, a lowly design/development engineer. I remember him saying engine projects like these were important to keep guys like me from quitting. I said are you kidding, this is the best job in the world, and it was.

Read more at http://barnfinds.com/v8-pow...tY61psgI10Z4gZGq.99"

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timbo

Mar 6, 2016 at 8:32am


IowaJim. I did see and answer your post (I think). The SD4 parts were all low volume race parts and very expensive. Almost every part was unique except for a miscellaneous parts package that was available under a separate package. That would require considerable engineering expense (manpower and budget) that would be hard to recoup and make a business case, especially since a 60 degree “corporate V6” was available. You can engineer and tool a new car for about the same price as designing, developing, validating and certifying a new engine which takes 3-4 years. Engines are serious business and mistakes/warranty and recalls are very costly. The more conservative a company’s management is the less innovative and risk adverse they are regarding engines. A bad decision can sink a company like the International truck diesel after treatment and VW’s current diesel emissions cheating issue. It will be cheaper to buy back all the vehicles involved and scrap them than to fix them in the field.

The breakdown for an engine lineup in a car other than a mini van should go like this. 60-70% of the customers have no idea what engine is in the car, just like you probably have no idea what type or displacement of compressor is in your refrigerator. Therefore the base engine should be an adequate performer, lost cost and good value. 30-35% are “enthusiasts”, bench racers or just want more that will opt for an optional engine, and then there are the “enthusiast fringe”. Often early adopters, cost is less or no object, or want the fastest/badest and actually know a little. These packages also get in inordinate amount of press coverage which helps the brand and gets potential customers into the dealership, which is the first step in selling a vehicle. So, the ideal lineup for the Fiero was the path we were on (at the time), with the Iron Duke base (even though I thought that engine to be a POS, cheapened up and lightened up to the max), 2.8L 60 degree V6 iron block aluminum head MPFI optional engine, and the LA9 2.9L 60 degree aluminum V6 turbo as the performance option. Look at the current Cadillac engine lineups with the V series being the performance option, or Corvette lineup or the Dodge lineup with the Hellcat being the killer performance option.
Yes I know pretty much everything about the SD4’s that were in the actual Pace Cars and quite a lot about the Indy Pace car replica package that was sold to the public. I am originally from Iowa too near Fort Dodge. Where are you located? Leave me your phone number and we’ll talk as long as you want. timbo

Read more at http://barnfinds.com/v8-pow...tY61psgI10Z4gZGq.99"
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Report this Post07-17-2017 11:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Related article snippet: About the 1986 Pontiac Fiero “Porsche Eater”,

https://www.carthrottle.com/post/w9ml9dl/

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 07-17-2017).]

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Raydar
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Report this Post07-17-2017 06:25 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
Good stuff! Thanks for sharing. I have never seen this, although I have heard this info alluded to, many times.
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shemdogg
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Report this Post07-18-2017 12:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for shemdoggSend a Private Message to shemdoggEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Very cool info! Too bad these guys couldnt make the engines they really wanted. we woulda had some bad ass cars!

shem
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Shho13
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Report this Post07-19-2017 05:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Shho13Click Here to Email Shho13Send a Private Message to Shho13Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Oh what could have been... How awesome... Thanks for the link!

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