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'88 Fiero Strut by Dread Cosmonaut
Started on: 05-22-2023 08:22 PM
Replies: 10 (240 views)
Last post by: fieroguru on 05-23-2023 07:09 AM
Dread Cosmonaut
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Report this Post05-22-2023 08:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dread CosmonautSend a Private Message to Dread CosmonautEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Howdy all, long time listener first time caller here. I've had my 88 GT for a while now, and the other day I hit a nasty manhole that instantly made my stomach do flips.
Got home, and took a look at the fiero.... and it looks like my passenger side strut decided to break off. I feel lucky the only damage was to the cover.

I'm just hoping to see if I could get any help- I'm a under the curve when it comes to being a mechanic, so any and all help is appreciated. I've attached a few pictures to see if y'all can see where it might've disconnected- I'm assuming it'll be bad enough to either need a weld or a whole new strut.

Thanks for any help y'all can give!

View of the suspension while lifted

View when the jack had it lifted

View prior to lifting it
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shemdogg
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Report this Post05-22-2023 08:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for shemdoggSend a Private Message to shemdoggEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think its #6, hope this helps give you an idea


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pmbrunelle
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Report this Post05-22-2023 08:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The strut mount tore through:
https://www.rockauto.com/en...k+/+strut+mount,7600

Normally, the strut mount should be installed with the two included heavy washers on both sides of the rubber. One was not installed here, which appears to be a cause of the tear-through.

Another cause of the failure is because the bumpstop (and bellows) is missing, creating a very harsh metal-to-metal bang when you hit the manhole.
https://www.rockauto.com/en...+/+strut+bellow,7592

Disassemble the struts (do both sides), and reassemble them properly.

The photos were good at helping me see what went wrong. Without photos, sometimes it's hard to understand the situation.

[This message has been edited by pmbrunelle (edited 05-22-2023).]

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Patrick
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Report this Post05-22-2023 08:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That must've been quite a jolt!

I don't know if the strut might be damaged elsewhere, but you'll at least need a replacement '88 "hat". (The earlier year strut hats are a different size.)*

The hat is the large circular objest with the small hole.



 
quote
Originally posted by pmbrunelle:

Another cause of the failure is because the bumpstop (and bellows) is missing, creating a very harsh metal-to-metal bang when you hit the manhole.


I was thinking the bumpstop might've exploded on impact (being old and brittle) and simply fell out of there... but you're probably right, it was probably already missing... especially if it's missing on the other side as well.

*[EDIT] I'm confused now. The RockAuto parts catalog shows the same hat for all years. Without going out and looking at my Fieros, aren't the '88 rear springs a smaller diameter? Maybe it's just the springs and spring retainer thingie with the three studs that's smaller on the 88's, and the hat is the same size as the earlier years.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 05-22-2023).]

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Dread Cosmonaut
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Report this Post05-22-2023 08:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dread CosmonautSend a Private Message to Dread CosmonautEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I appreciate the help, y'all! Gonna have to put some parts on order... and get myself a proper car jack. I'll post updates with any more questions I might have... In the meantime, does anybody have a helpful video they recommend?

I appreciate the speedy replies! That was great!
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fieroguru
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Report this Post05-22-2023 09:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

I'm confused now. The RockAuto parts catalog shows the same hat for all years. Without going out and looking at my Fieros, aren't the '88 rear springs a smaller diameter?



KYB and most others offer a strut hat with both the 84-88 and 88 bolt patterns. For all my coilovers, I use the same strut hat, just weld the bolts in the appropriate holes to match the application.

These are for the 84-87 and you can see the other set of holes further in for the 88.


The issue with the strut shaft pushing through the bushing is caused when the washer for the bottom is left off. Once I was traveling with a guy on the HRPT had that happen and it poked through the fastback engine vent..
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Patrick
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Report this Post05-22-2023 09:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:

KYB and most others offer a strut hat with both the 84-87 (corrected) and 88 bolt patterns. For all my coilovers, I use the same strut hat, just weld the bolts in the appropriate holes to match the application.


I had forgotten all about the bolt patterns being different as well. Okay, now that I look more carefully at the RockAuto catalog, I see what you're saying. I didn't realize that these "universal" Fiero hats were even available. Thanks for the info.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 05-23-2023).]

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Dread Cosmonaut
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Report this Post05-22-2023 09:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dread CosmonautSend a Private Message to Dread CosmonautEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:

Once I was traveling with a guy on the HRPT had that happen and it poked through the fastback engine vent..


This is exactly what I have going on with mine now... Going to have to get a new vent.

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jelly2m8
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Report this Post05-23-2023 01:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jelly2m8Send a Private Message to jelly2m8Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That happened because somebody installed the strut mounts upside down. Strut mounts are not designed to be flipped upside down, there is no way to capture the rubber isolator when done so.
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Patrick
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Report this Post05-23-2023 02:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jelly2m8:

That happened because somebody installed the strut mounts upside down. Strut mounts are not designed to be flipped upside down, there is no way to capture the rubber isolator when done so.


How so? I've flipped the rear strut mounts/hats over on my lowered Fieros...an '84 and an '88. I'm willing to take a look tomorrow at my spare hats in the basement, but I don't recall seeing anything that gave me reason to suspect that flipping them over might result in any sort of failure.

And nothing was mentioned along those lines in this thread... Does flipping over the strut top mounting plate change the Fiero's rear height?
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fieroguru
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Report this Post05-23-2023 07:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jelly2m8:

That happened because somebody installed the strut mounts upside down. Strut mounts are not designed to be flipped upside down, there is no way to capture the rubber isolator when done so.


This is false. As long as the bottom washer is larger than the bushing hole, it can't pass through it. His issue is that no washer was installed. Use a 2" OD washer or larger on the bottom and you will never have this issue.
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