Posted this in General too, just wanted a copy here for reference.
Forgot to post this earlier, but I find that when looking for oddball parts for the fiero I have pretty good luck in ACE hardware or Big-R (is that a NW only thing?).
Anyways, I prefer the locally owned ACE stores. On to the story: I needed to find those little rubber stops for the headlight covers, and I'll be danged if I'm going to spend $20 for the fiero store to ship me 4 pieces of stamped rubber. Also, I needed those door closing rubber bump-stops (the double wide kind) and have had no luck getting them off cars at the junkyard without destroying them.
I found working solutions for both, in one box, at ACE.
I'll take a picture later of the door solution, but it consists of using 2 x single bumpers per side and it works well. Total out of pocket for both headlights and both doors: $3.29 after tax.
It always seems like I'm putting my car together from scratch before fiero fest (coming up in a week), but that's ok. At least I'll have a 5th gear for cruising this year.
The Muncie never really DIED per se, but the diff bearings were getting pretty sloppy and I was sick of the oil spots in my driveway. Also, due to inattention on my part, I never fully tightened the rear trans mount bolts to the transmission, and the little bit of slop caused me to bend my trans mount bracket when hooning.
So, I popped off the wheels, tires, brakes (hung by zip ties from car frame), drained coolant, popped off dog bone, disconnected C203 & C500, unclicked fuel lines (LOVE THE NEW STYLE), and removed vacuum hose to brakes.
Then, Tony came to help me drop it out and swap trannies. Thank you Tony! He works cheap, a few Johnsonville Brats, and potato salad... I put in new seals and a new throwout bearing in to the 60k mile Isuzu, cleaned up the slides & lightly greased the fingers and slide. New tranny clicked on beautifully!
After a little wrestling with the mounts (they're never exactly the same b/t transmissions in my experience), I got everything in and snugged down to the cradle, and clicked in the axles after pre-oiling the seals.
That was it for one day, I was tired and the temp was hovering around 95 all day.
Next morning, back in she went!
I love Joe's method of dropping the cradle, but made one small change: I put the front wheels on my oil change ramps because they have a nice roll-stop built in so I don't have to worry about the car moving back on me while lifting. basically, you pull the bumper and lights and wrap a tow strap around the frame a few times and lift the strap. Very strong, can't fall off the car, and you can lift low to give you PLENTY of height with the crane. I easily had 3" of clearance when sliding the dolly back under.
I then replaced the 4-speed cables and shifter with the 5-speed one, and hooked them up. Next up was re-attaching the fuel lines, brake booster vacuum line, coolant lines, C203, C500, throttle cable, bolting the slave to the new trans, and re-attaching the grounds and battery cable (battery still disconnected at negative up front).
At first I thought something happened to my slave, because it was soooo easy to push compared to the 4-speed, but it's just because the trans is newer and there is no friction on the release shaft.
I had to wrestle a bit to re-bolt the dog bone, but got 'er in, and had to re-do the intake because the slave was now in the way of the pipe going to the factory air pickup spot. 30 seconds with a chop saw on the PVC fixed that.
When I get home tonight, I'll fire her up and make sure no horrible noises present themselves before buttoning up the brakes.
Well, after all the hard work last weekend, looks like I get to do it again this weekend. Got everything hooked up, fired it up, and something is hitting in the bell housing. I'm hoping I'll just have to clearance something a bit. Whatever it is, it can't be too big, the tranny mated up to the block with ease. Always stuff like this 6 days before fiero fest.. :-) wish me luck! Now if it would just stop raining...
[This message has been edited by aaronkoch (edited 08-02-2013).]
No problem, I got the cradle disconnected, dropped, trans removed, fixed, remounted, and the cradle back in before lunch. . Just have to refill the coolant, hook up the ebrake and shift cables, and zip tie the cables back into place.
So, after pulling everything back out of the car again yesterday, here's what I found:
Looks like it was just barely too big. There wasn't any real marking on the pressure plate to speak of, but I decided to get pics for my reference.
So, out came the die grinder, and I smoothed out the inner edge of the pressure plate stamping, took down the high spots on the rivets, and rounded down the stamped metal on the outside corners of the pressure plate. Voila!
This time, before I put it back in, I turned the crank by hand to make sure no more rubbing. Success! I re-mounted everything, put the cradle back in, refilled fluids, adjusted shift cables, and drove up and down the street to verify operation. I was sooooo exhausted after yesterday.
Next up will be interior work. I've only got 5 days til fiero fest, so my project scope has shrunk a bit. I wasn't planning on having to drop the cradle twice in 2 weeks.
On a lighter note, it's amazing how nice this trans shifts. I mean spectacular. The clutch is smoother than the one in my 2012 Sonic now.
[This message has been edited by aaronkoch (edited 08-04-2013).]
So, on last Friday, I had the car all packed up and ready to go to Fiero Fest in Richland. Filled 'er up with gas, checked the tire pressure, and as I pulled out onto the road, the slave gave out. I got the car home without a clutch (thankfully the lights all worked in my favor), and called around to find a slave. There was one way out on the other side of town, so I hauled up there and got it, along with a master (just in case). Got home and dug in to find the clutch line seized to the slave. At that point, I bailed on taking the fiero down, but still had a great weekend seeing everybody.
Monday morning, before I got home for lunch, Joe (FieroKing) had dropped off a clutch line for me in the garage. I was so sick of the car that I didn't get around to installing it til last night. I removed the old line (cut it into sections and removed), and tried like heck to get the new line fed to the front. Apparently, you can't get the clutch line in without dropping the cross member. I wasn't about to do that, so today, I took the clutch line into "House of Hose," and had them cut the line and put in a 2' flex section with AN fittings. Problem solved. Put in the new master, slave, and line, and after bleeding for what seemed like forever, she's back in business!
The $40 spent on the custom flex section is well worth the ease of installation now. They even brazed on the fittings.
I washed mine and I got some lifting of the dip around the side mirrors base. I don't know if washing did it or bad prep before dipping, I'm going with washing. Lol. Anyway, I'm going to try and inject some thinner under the lifting, hopefully it will activate the dip and reattach itself.
I've only had the dreaded lift in 2 small spots, both on places on the roof panel where I had to sand down to the fiber. I think I didn't wait long enough for the dip prep to dry before spraying the dip.
Also, after the dip cured for a week, I went to the local full-contact car wash and ran the car through 4 times in a row to see what would happen. On the edged of the rearview mirrors, the dip was rubbed off a bit from the brushes, so I went to O'reilly's to get some of that black plastic door guard, and put it on the edge of the mirrors. Problem solved.
congrats on your swap. I have an 88 coupe that I did the 3800/4t65e swap on over 80,000 miles ago. The motor and trans have close to a quarter million miles on them now so I figured I better get another car in preparation for the downtime coming up. I ran across another 88 coupe with the 5 speed in it for agrand and only 110,000 miles on the car. I really like the manual so I think it needs a 3800 in it also lol. How well is the 5 speed suppose to hold up if you drive it with some sense?
The Isuzu is holding up great! Very smooth shifting, and the gear ratios are almost perfect. I wouldn't mind first & second being a bit taller, but 5th is great on the highway. I'm sure if I really beat on it, I could break it, but the older I get, the more averse I become to spending money..
We're having a really weird year, and it's dry. So, that means I so far have been able to drive the fiero a lot! This makes me happy, as the summer tires become FUN tires in cold temps. On a lighter note, I got this pic the other day, too good not to post:
If any of you do the passenger side the way I do, be careful not to lose that tiny tiny ball bearing at the end of the worm drive, and below is my trick to keep the brushes in place when reinstalling the motor:
Well, it would appear that I should follow my own advice.
I took my son out to the races, and after a couple of hard launches I had 'ventilated' my transmission. Strangely enough, it wasn't second gear that failed, but several teeth broke off one of the spider gears and bounced around in there, eventually punching a hole in the bell housing from the inside. This video was the run that killed it, but I did run a new fastest time: 14.3 @ 95
So, I limped the car home with Spencer following me (sorry about the synchromesh all over your car) and began planning the Getrag swap. Several years ago, I pulled a Getrag out of a corsica at pull & save, and had it sitting on the shelf, just in case. I would have probably used it instead of the isuzu, but I already had a set of isuzu cables, mounts, and slave. So, I called up Rodney Dickman, told him what I had, asked what I needed, and 3 days later a box shows up with mounts, FWD adapter kit, cables, aluminum slave, and a cast release arm. He advised me that the shift cable / slave bracket was cheaper on the fiero store than through him, so I ordered that there. That is true customer service right there. Everything arrived as promised, and I pulled the engine out.
It's at this point that I feel I should point out I've changed the transmission more often than the oil in this car, and I can now say that I've run every single transmission that came with a fiero in this car. It started as an auto/4 cyl, then I did the swap to the 3800 / 4 speed, then the isuzu, now the getrag. If this fails, I'm converting back to a 4t65.
First thing's first: Lets clean off the crap. This is how it looked sitting in the garage:
Also, I had to pull off the pressure plate to clean the synchromesh out of everything. Clutch, flywheel, and pressure plate still look great considering I'm not really nice to them. Lots of brake clean used, even though I'm pretty sure none of the fluid hit the friction material.
So, I figured since the engine was out of the car I'd clean it up a bit. Much easier to spray it off and clean while it's on a cradle in the middle of the driveway. Funny thing, when I was rinsing off the engine cleaner, I noticed that the water was dissapearing from the valley of bank 1 (firewall side). Even more troubling, it was pouring into a bolt hole on the head.
Turns out, there are 2 holes used for the alternator mount on the rear head that are unused on the front head. One of those holes is open to the valve cover area. Great, so I just dumped a crapton of water into the engine.. Sigh. I grabbed some bolts, loctite, and made sure the holes were sealed. I believe the one at the corner of the head (in the pic above it's under the ICM harness) was a blind hole, but at this point I'm done taking chances.
I also changed the belt to a 6k875 (0.3" shorter) to get my tensioner in range. It never slipped before, but I was revving it in a parking garage a couple of months ago and it popped off. I'm convinced it was only because the car was jealous that the wife and I were having date night.
After all the blood/sweat/tears/money, she's back in the car.
Once the cradle was back in, I poured out the crap oil/water mix thanks to my cleaning, and put in 5 quarts of cheapo valvoline. I then ran the car until it got nice and hot, and did another oil / filter change back to Mobil 1. I also took this opportunity to change to the PF52 filter.
I drove to Joe's (FieroKing) yesterday, and popped the HPTuners cable on there to change the PCM to read 24k pulses / mile, and he had an extra speedo buffer laying around that he pulled from a project. That's my project today, along with the dew wipes. While I was in there, I bumped up the timing curve a bit, and made sure that all the speed limiters were gone, too.
It never ends with these stupid cars..
[This message has been edited by aaronkoch (edited 08-02-2014).]
It's been 5 years since I plasti-dipped the car, and I decided it was finally time for paint. After spending 2 weeks removing the )*&$(*&^(*&@ dip, I finally began body work. I had to repair a bunch of spots on the bumpers (car was hit twice since it was dipped, but minor), and fix some SMC delamination on the roof. After enough body work to make me want to set the car on fire in the front yard, I dropped it off for paint this morning. This should get the car back to me next week, and I'll have a week or so get everything back together for Northwest Fiero Fest.
I also picked up all LED bulbs except for the headlights, and a whole set of round molding from the fiero store to have painted and put back on after paint.