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1 hour ago, PVPPI said:

 

Funny that you would bring that up, when I had my Fiero's about 20 years ago our washing machine broke so I took my wife to her mothers house to do the laundry. It was such a nice day I wanted to take the Fiero, but she said "you will never get all that laundry into the Fiero" and I accepted her challenge. I still have a photo of everything I fit into the trunk compartment that day, below is that photo and another photo showing what an empty Fiero trunk looks like, its amazing what you can fit in there!

 

 

trunk capacity.jpg

trunk capacity 2.jpg

 

 

I thought you were going to say you hauled your washing machine in the Fiero - now that would have been impressive!  :D

 

The spare tire was a skinny temporary one - IIRC, a regular tire wouldn't fit in the same space under the hood but would fit upright in the deep trunk.  So you were supposed to haul the flat there until you could get it fixed and put back on.  Fortunately we never got a flat while on vacation - we would have been in trouble with the trunk full of other stuff.

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The Mill and Drill for the space frame was very interesting to watch. After Mill and drill, many of the  "pads" that had been machined were of varying thicknesses. 

This was the method of equalizing the finished frame for fitting body and other components.

/////////////////

A side light from the   Fiero Plant floor: personal experience and observation.

When attending my first meeting, and walking in a wide walkway to attend a meeting and view line operations, I was showered with sparks from a welder some 45 feet away and behind me at a 45 degree angle.   Wearing wool slacks and a cotton dress shirt I was a mass of holes on my left and back side.

 

Now  being aware of the possibility of needing more clothing on subsequent visits I observed  the welder from a distance .  The operator  seemed to note single walkers about to pass by, and rotated standing position and repositioning the spot welding gun, would appear to shower the single person with sparks.

there were some chuckles about it in the meeting, but ......................

//////////////////////////

At Cadillac, we had a Superintendent bent upon starting his own  company to install larger engines in the Fiero, nothing came of it that I know of.................Differential issues were an issue, along with others.

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Hans1 said:

The Mill and Drill for the space frame was very interesting to watch. After Mill and drill, many of the  "pads" that had been machined were of varying thicknesses. 

This was the method of equalizing the finished frame for fitting body and other components.

/////////////////

A side light from the   Fiero Plant floor: personal experience and observation.

When attending my first meeting, and walking in a wide walkway to attend a meeting and view line operations, I was showered with sparks from a welder some 45 feet away and behind me at a 45 degree angle.   Wearing wool slacks and a cotton dress shirt I was a mass of holes on my left and back side.

 

Now  being aware of the possibility of needing more clothing on subsequent visits I observed  the welder from a distance .  The operator  seemed to note single walkers about to pass by, and rotated standing position and repositioning the spot welding gun, would appear to shower the single person with sparks.

there were some chuckles about it in the meeting, but ......................

//////////////////////////

At Cadillac, we had a Superintendent bent upon starting his own  company to install larger engines in the Fiero, nothing came of it that I know of.................Differential issues were an issue, along with others.

 

 

Great story, thanks for sharing, I was never there but have talked to people like yourself who were. When I went to tech school in the early mid 80's we had to learn every inch of that Fiero, ugh. From what I gather there was a lot of pride at that factory (Fiero means Proud) despite the bad media press. Just like anything else in life when you play the "what if game" things might have been different for the Fiero had there never been the early 4-cylinder engine fires, and or if Back To The Future used the Fiero instead of a Delorean, lol. Your Cadillac guy back in the day was probably referring to the Cadillac 4.9 V8 which is a very popular engine swap over the last two decades, the Cadillac Northstar V8 is a less common engine swap, with the Chevy V8 and Buick 3800 SC being the most popular.

Edited by PVPPI (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Ok the truth is that like a Trabant a burning Fiero is toxic. That said what happened was that Pontiac speced three quarts of oil for the '84 and many Americans are used to running two quarts low. Coupled with weak connecting rods (why most attempts to add a turbo failed), if the crank seized often a rod would break and exit the side of the block usually on the firewall side. This would dump hot oil on the even hotter catalytic converter and hot starter terminals & ignition often occurred.

 

Pontiac issued a recall which involved a sticker for the owner's manual, various shields/drains over hot things, a longer oil filter (PF 52 instead of PF47), and a remarked dipstick for four quarts of dino. No internal parts were touched.

 

Other than having the recall done I had it for several years before giving it to my son. Lady ran a red light and exit Fiero.

 

After I had several others until in 2001 when I was looking for another Fiero I found an '88 Reatta with low miles and excellent condition and much more space for less money. Even had a touchscreen in the dash. I still have it.

 

Keep in mind that in the '80s, All GM divisions (except Oldsmobile - they got the Bravada instead) had halo 2-seaters: Allante, Corvette, Fiero, & Reatta. Sad part is that now GM only has three two-door cars and all start with a "C".

 

fiegt1.jpg

 

Personally find it interesting how the eras change used to be that a four door cost more than a two door. Latest is when I bought my Jeep in '12 - nobody wanted a SUV - miniVans were the rage) so I got about 30% off MSRP in rebates, capture discounts, and magic since no-one wanted a Grand Cherokee (DOHC-6, 5 speed, 4 wheel disks, IFS/IRS, front and rear sway bars...and a factory towing package). Was only a few Benjamins more than a year old with 20k miles. Also has a lifetime warranty (NLA). No braner.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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45 minutes ago, padgett said:

...a sticker for the owner's manual...

 

 

My car got the recall.  There also was an adhesive-backed printed aluminum plate you were supposed to stick on the console - as I recall, it encouraged you to keep the oil filled and change it per the maintenance schedule.  I still have a service manual and the owner's manual with recall sticker from my car.

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That is funny - says "fewer than one percent of 1985-1987 Fieros..." - the problem was with the '84s.

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Posted (edited)

My '85 GT ran great, never caught fire or broke in half. Its best feature was aux.stereo speakers in the seat headrests, The V-6 had lots of go.

Edited by JFranklin (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
Quote

That is funny - says "fewer than one percent of 1985-1987 Fieros..." - the problem was with the '84s.

 

There were a few recalls to the later models, more so out of overreaction to the early fires trying to prevent any more mishaps, basically PR damage control. One of which was to remove the rubber seal from the forward edge of the trunk lid under the rear glass. You can see the seal in the trunk photo at the top of the page, there are clips that hold it in place where those little red squares are. They were afraid the seal would become detached and fall down onto the exhaust manifold. But that did more harm than good in most cases, because without that seal leaves could fall between the rear glass and trunk lid onto a hot exhaust manifold after the driver parked. The other issue with removing that seal is that rain water or when washing the car, water would get on hot exhaust manifold and eventually crack over time, which is a common problem on the inward manifold for these reasons. Many Fiero owners feel its best to leave the seal in place and just make sure it is secured properly. Personally I left my seal off because without it more engine compartment heat can escape, was conscientious where I parked, and didn't use it in rainy weather.

Edited by PVPPI (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Those are some interesting creations... I suppose you could do that sort of thing with any car. Here are a few of my favorite Fiero modifications...

 

 

xgtdl_2.jpg

xmotor.jpg

meeting_151004_14_small.jpg

Super_Duty_3.0.jpg

 

car_post.jpg

002.JPG

Edited by PVPPI (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

I have owned my 1985 SE V6 since new- Ordered it from the factory with the V6, the handling suspension, and nothing else; It weighed 2580 then...Now, with some mods (88 rear suspension/subframe, 3.4 long block, Getrag 5 speed, and some body mods (But it looks like a Fiero still!) it weighs 2640- that includes a tool kit and 1 (spare) gallon of antifreeze. (Note; I designed and made the "B" pillars out of aluminum- The lower scoops were made by a fellow Fiero owner)

 

Only 5000 of the first year's 110,000 had the possibility of catching fire- The rods could break from low oil and cut the oil pan next to the Cat.  Only 260 had this happen- That number vs the 110,000 manufactured in 1984 gives it a better than AVERAGE fire rate!  The V6s never had that problem, and they were as fast as a normally aspirated RX7 or 300ZX of the 80s.

 

The overheating problem  could be traced to two situations;  1) Jacking the car up could crush one of the stainless coolant tubes cutting off coolant flow (I have NEVER had a problem with this) and, 2) If you fill the coolant system from the front only, you will leave an air bubble- cutting off the flow also. (I am careful to fill the system properly)

 

Also, the Fiero was the first American car manufactured using Edward Deming's TQM system (Total Quality Management)....What is TQM and who is this Deming guy?  He was the AMERICAN who taught the Japanese Quality control in the 50s and 60s....That's right, an American taught the Japanese Quality control!  TQM is now used by Every car manufacturer in the world......

 

If you read the R&T and Motor Trend tests of the 1985 GT, it sounds like a world beater- then in 1986 the magazines all started bombing it, and even the much improved 1988 GT was bombed while the MR2 and CRX were "gifts from heaven".....The only good tests of the later Fieros was a Motorweek comparo between a Fiero Formula and a MR2 Supercharged and the R&T 1987 Sports & GT Special test by Peter Egan "There may still be a few of the small details to be refined, but Pontiac has done it's job on the important things.  What more can you ask of a real sports car than you get from the Fiero GT?  It looks racy and exotic, sticks to the road like glue, sounds good and gets you from one side of the mountain to the other quicker than all but a few cars on Earth- for $13,489."  

100_0691.jpg

Edited by CVXJET (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Lots of good info here. My first Fiero was an 85 GT purchased new in 85. I traded it in 88 because I needed a bigger car. I bought an 88 coupe in late 1997, and have had at least one Fiero ever since. I currently own two 88s. One has a 4.9/Allante engine and a 5 speed, and the other is a 4 cylinder, waiting for a DOHC 3.4 swap.  

RFTH21.jpg

Edited by Raydar (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, CVXJET said:

I have owned my 1985 SE V6 since new

 

 

Welcome to the site CVXJET and Raydar. Since both of you are longtime Fiero owners you need to watch the video that I posted on the first page of this thread which shows that many Fiero owners are class acts who will spend their time and money to help someone in need and that the cars are definitely NOT "junk out of the gate" like some clueless people think they are....

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Two of the most fun cars I have owned is a 1966 Corvair with the Crown Engineering sbc V8 kit and an 88 Fiero with a 377ci sbc. Neither overheated and neither broke in half. They DID have extensive modiifications but ended up being machines with a near perfect 50/50 front to rear weight bias and were real corner carvers. Should have kept BOTH of them.

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I have always been noted for poor taste by my more traditional friends. My brother threw a dirt ball into my eye when I was a kid and I use that eye for beholding.

 

Twice I have been severely tempted by these.

image.png.828940297d6cb670126f1a2abae87a52.png

 

And it sin't over yet.

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a) bet you'd like a Spohn.

b) Fiero has dual ashtrays (but only one lighter).

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I'm an Engineer with Degrees in Mechanical and Electronics. When the Fiero was being developed and produced, I was fascinated, but I had 3-young kids and a 2-passenger sports car was not possible. Now I'm a bit older, and the President of the New England Fiero Association, and own 3 '88 Fieros, 2 T-Tops and a convertible. All three have engine upgrades. It is an amazing car!

 

I have NEVER heard of a Fiero breaking in half. In fact, the Fiero came in 2nd only to the Volvo for safety, and is the only car ever to get a 5-star safety rating with out air bags. The Fiero was/is one of the strongest cars ever made.

 

People say the '88 suspension was designed by lotus, but it wasn't. The entire Fiero was actually designed outside of Pontiac. And the '88 model year got a major upgrade. The '84 - '87 Fieros were built on a Chevette suspension with a Citation drive train in the back. You need to appreciate that the Fiero was not popular at GM, and had a shoe-string budget, but towards the end, after a major upgrade for the '88 model year, the Fiero was out performing the Corvette! Sports car magazines were comparing the Fiero to Lotus, Porsche and Ferrari. As Hulki Aldikacti (the "father" of the Fiero) said at our 25th anniversary convention, when asked about the Fiero and Corvette on the GM proving grounds... "Ya, we kicked its ass!". But, as he noted, that was the kiss of death for the Fiero... don't mess with the All-American Dream Car!

 

As for fires, it was only in the '84 model year and it was a problem acquired from the Citation. On a rare occasion, the coolant would drip onto the exhaust manifold which would then catch fire. Its my understanding that there were only 150 cases of these fires, and the problem was resolved, but keep in mind that Chevy did not like the Fiero and would run any little problem up the flag pole!

 

Over heating can be a problem with the Fiero. The problem stems from the mid engine being in back of the passengers and the radiator up front. The problem comes because an air bubble gets stuck in the coolant lines. The solution is to jack the back of the car way up, and fill the coolant from the thermostat housing on the engine. This gets the bubble out and the car will run cool.

 

If you have any other Fiero Questions, feel free to ask!  Ray Paulk

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Affordable for the youth as a project.

 

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Posted (edited)

I don't own any Fieros but I have a friend who has 3 an 84 he bought brand new, an 86 and an 88 Formula, he also owns a 29 Model A. At work we have lots of conversation about cars old and new, what he has going on with his cars and me about mine. When interesting things come up on on the AACA Forum or the MTFCA forum I send him links and when interesting thing come up on the Pennock's Fiero forum he sends them off to me.

 

As an outside observer of the Fiero group it is interesting for me to see how that group has really been growing with how active that Forum is and how they also use other social media (What'sApp) group as means of communication and how they plan events and group tours they put on in our area. They also seem to really span the age levels from teenagers (guys and girls), to the guys in their 60s who bought them when they first came out in the mid 80's.

 

They had a get together this year at the the GM Nationals at Carlisle where over 70 Fiero's showed up and my guess is almost everyone drove, including one from New Mexico. There are aftermarket sites where they can buy all kids of parts they require and lots of different builds on the forum with all the info you want to find about keeping them close to factory to some pretty wild engine swaps. A link to this post was posted on their forum and it was interesting enough for a few of them to sign up and help dispel some of the myths that have been created over the years about this car.

 

There is always lots a talk on this forum about the cost of cars, age of owners, getting youth involved, and participation in everts, well here is a group that seems to be doing OK in all of those categories. It is not all doom and gloom out there as some seem to make it appear.

 

 

Edited by coachJC (see edit history)

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 I am having trouble with my 84 Fuel Injection.

 It ran well when I parked it over the winter and would not start in the spring.

 It seems that there are few people that know how to diagnose the problems with the FI.

 I thought it might be the mice but I see no evidence of that.

 I think that is in a bad connection in the wiring harness from the ECM to the injector.

 Trying to follow the wiring to locate an open circuit is a night mare in the confined space of the engine compartment.

 Roger.

 

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I mentioned in an earlier post that I would buy another one. I don't remember why I sold my 4.3 but the guy who bought it called me up a year or so later an asked if I had any cars for sale. I sold him an XJ6 Jaguar.

 

One entertaining part of the ongoing story of these cars; you hear all the comments about mixing parts for the bins to make a second rate, problematic car. Then you scroll on to another topic where a glowing description of the mix of parts used in a disc brake conversion to make the owner's car safer. Gotta love it.

 

That Chevette the front suspension originated around 1964 at Opel, moved to Argentina in the late '60's, and was hustled to the US in reaction to the first "oil crisis". That was when Buick knee jerked a bunch of the 215-8 and V6 rights back from British Leyland.

 

Bernie

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Posted (edited)

Thought Rover still had the Aluminum V8 and Buick bought the 231/3.8/3800 back from AMC and vastly improved it (added a balance shaft and created the "even-fire" offset crank that Mercedes copied in the M112 engine.

 

The '84 Iron Duke had the "throttle body injection" of which the less said the better however I do have an OTC 2000 with the "Pathfinder" cartridge for diagnosing. They used the original (slow) computer command control (CCC) and is easy to reprogram with Moates gear.

 

ps "solution is to jack the back of the car way up" - my driveway has a 15 degree slope which works very well. On ramps a car is level. The really phun job is to replace the fuel pump - the gas tank is in the console.

 

 

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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