Figured it out finally. Mostly my fault for trusting a previous owner's actions. First time I went to look at the car, it started hard and after about 3 minutes the manifolds were glowing BRIGHT red. Told him the timing wasn't right, etc. So when I went back it started better and no more glowing. He said he set the timing and it was all good. Obviously when I purchased car, that was one of the first things I checked. However, I was going by his marks... they weren't right and it was causing the engine to fire during a partially open valve (which was giving me the loud ticking sound, which I thought was just an exhaust leak). SO much better and more fun to drive. Except now I realize the brakes on this fiero aren't to good for slowing down fast
Still get a little bit of that ticking sound under acceleration though. The valve may have buildup on it, not allowing it to close all the way. Luckily I have another complete engine that I'm going to tear down and rebuild.
Went through and did some other things as well. Changed all vacuum lines, cleaned throttle body, IAC, checked injectors, MAP, TPS, checked fuel pressure with key off, at idle and also under load, did a compression check. Overall I'm a lot happier with the car! This could turn into my favorite car to drive ever!