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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Fiero Head Gasket Question

As some of you may know, my 3.never threw both headgaskets in the parking lot at work, and i had to drive the 28 miles home at around 25-30 mph. so the engine is useless. i have an opportunity to get an 87 fiero 4cyl for 250 bucks with a blown head gasket. the fiero, beside being a rolling explosion waiting to happen, is one of my favorite cars. i want to know if its feasible to buy this thing, which is eligible for historic plates in about 5 years, and fix it and mod it?

-Steven

Project Rust Prevention: 1990 Buick Regal, Toilet Capacity engine, new trim paint, 57K miles
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 01:10 PM
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$250 for a fiero? i would buy it, and swap in an LS1.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 02:33 PM
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The 3.4L DOHC swap is cheap and worthwhile.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 05:54 PM
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I wish I could fit into a Fiero

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 08:22 PM
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Mid 90's 3800 Series II. Best power to weigh ratio for a Fiero.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 07:50 AM
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Chevy 350.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 08:33 AM
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There was some nut with a Northstar-powered Fiero in Hot Rod a few years back. That'd be fun.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 09:43 AM
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Cool

Well bud, I think you got your answer. Lets go on the wild side thou, how about shoehorning a '70 500cid Caddy motor? OK, I just came out of it. I was close to buying one with a V6 back a good while, but decided against it because it was too small for me. If you're near the six foot stature, you will be cramped (do a Gurney Bubble?). Go for it, why not?
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 10:27 AM
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How about a helicopter turbine engine?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 08:19 PM
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do a 3800 Series II Superchagred swap... i've gotten to ride in one with the swap and its bad-***.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 08:38 PM
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 09:43 PM
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Check out Pennock's Fiero Forum. Cliff Pennock, from The Netherlands, runs it. I've been there since 1999. I'm "2birds" over there. Like TCCOA, we're all a nice big disfunctional family over there, too. Lots of helpful people in the tech areas, and a few colorful characters and trolls in the off-topic forums, too.

http://www.fiero.nl/cgi-bin/fiero/Ul...i?action=intro

I have a 1986 Fiero GT, 2.8 V-6 and 5-speed, with over 185,000 miles on it. I've had it since 1988. Parts are still cheap, since it shares a lot of things with other GM makes from the late 70's/early 80's. It's a blast. It's stock except for polyurethane bushings everywhere, and a set of springs to drop it 2 inches. Someday, it'll either get a GM 3800 SC V-6 or an early 90's Cadillac 4.9 V-8 (pre-Northstar). But, it's fun enough now, as it is.

http://www.v8archie.com/ V-8 Archie seems to be the foremost authority on small block Chevy swaps into Fieros, and he also has a few other upgrades. He even does top-chopping (like they need it). There are also kits for putting the Caddy 4.9 and GM 3800 in all over the place.

http://rodneydickman.com/ Rodney Dickman has all sorts of cool stuff, especially things that GM should have made but didn't. Great customer service, too.

97 LX, 4.6, Dynomax catback, Mustang MAF/intake tube and Aviator throttle body, Xcalibrator2 by Lonnie at BOC, 180 t-stat, Super Coupe wheels with 235/60/16's, Kenny Brown strut tower brace, Tokico Blues, Eibach Pro-kit, some strategically placed MN12 Performance polyurethane pieces, '02 Grand Marquis transmission

Submariners do it deeper...

Last edited by terraplane8; 01-17-2006 at 09:50 PM.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 05:40 AM
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so, why do those things spontaneously combust anyways? my girlfriends brother had one, and after i left her house it caught fire. when i got home she called me and told me what happened, and asked if i saw anything, which i really didnt since she was out there with me till i drove off going the opposite way. i think it heard the 4.6 exhaust and got scared or somethin.

the char marks are still in the street, 4 years later. i think of that car everytime i pull up. i never park in the char marks either, im supersticious like that. they parked their van there nightly, and a year ago it got rear ended by a stolen vehicle. **** that spot, my car is better than all theirs so i just pull onto their lawn.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 07:35 AM
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dont forget about www.fierox.com
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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i think i still fit, its been a couple years since i sat in my buddies trying to install his panasonic head unit. i was little over 6' then. anyway thanks for the info and those various sites guys i really appreciate it. i think im going down to look at it this weekend

-Steven

Project Rust Prevention: 1990 Buick Regal, Toilet Capacity engine, new trim paint, 57K miles
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 04:51 PM
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My first car was a 87 fiero gt (with the v6). Being that it is a mr engine car, one of the biggest problems was overheating, of course I was in Vegas. It just didn't keep it cool enough. The headgaskets blew on it and that was about it for me. Considering how to do any work required the complete removal of the motor due to the rather confined space it was in.

Also one of the flip up headlights gave up on me.

Other than that it was a nice little car. With all the factory gauges and small interior my sister thought of it more as a cockpit in a spaceship.

1994 4.6 T-Bird R.I.P.

New Car...
2003 Honda Accord Coupe
V6 3.0 app. 220 to the wheels...front wheels
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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its also a helluva lot cheaper on insurance too

-Steven

Project Rust Prevention: 1990 Buick Regal, Toilet Capacity engine, new trim paint, 57K miles
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 09:48 PM
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I bought mine back in 1988, because while I wanted a new 5.0 Mustang, I couldn't justify spending the extra 5-6 grand for one. The 16,000-mile, 2-year-old 86 Fiero GT only cost me $8500 at the time. Since then, I've had a 5.0 bird, a 5.0 Mustang, and a Super Coupe, but the only ones left are my current 97 4.6 bird, and that same hard-ridden Fiero...

They catch on fire because people don't take care of the simple stuff. Since the V-6 is a Chevy engine, it leaks oil like an old Harley, unless you FIX THE LEAKS every few years or so. Distributor o-rings and valve cover gaskets are the usual culprits, at least they were on mine. There was a recall to put a larger heat shield over the forward V-6 exhaust manifold, and a rubber lip seal on the forward end of the rear deck lid. This was to minimize the amount of trash (leaves) that would collect on top of the catalytic converter (under the forward exhaust manifold), and get wedged in between the cat and its heat shield. Leaves constanly collect in the vent grates on either side of the rear decklid, too. Pine needles and live oak/pin oak leaves are the worst...

Also, the shifter cables sometimes burn through because they get moved around and are laid upon the exhaust head pipe. The AC compressor wiring harness is routed there, as well. Again, when you do things like change plugs, you have to put the wires/cables back in their original routing spots, instead of leaving them where gravity puts them. Plastic cable hangers will break eventually.

Mid-engine car maintenance is no more difficult than any front wheel drive car. Fiero's are similar to Cavaliers (somewhat) and Citations (a lot), in the drivetrain area. The 4-cylinder is the Pontiac Iron Duke, or half of a Pontiac 301 V-8. The V-6, on all years it was available (85-88), is the Iron-head Chevy 2.8 60 degree V-6, basically identical to all those late 80's Camaro RS engines. 135-140 HP. Muliti-Port Fuel Injection (batch-fire) on all the V-6's, and throttle body injection on the 4's. Very low-tech by today's standards, but cheap and easy to maintain (I work on submarines for a living, so I'm used to working in the dark).

The headlights can be a PITA. Mine is just finally starting to have issues with them not coming up smoothly, after all these years. Rodney Dickman sells some great stuff to fix them at his website. I've seen him on this site, as well. I think he had a Cougar.

The automatic cars are all 3 speeds, with a lockup converter, no overdrive. There are 4 and 5 speed manuals available, but the V-6's didn't get the 5-speed Getrag untill late 86. Clutch hydraulic systems seem to be the only real PITA there. I'm one of the lucky ones there, I think. I've gone through a clutch every 60,000 miles, but I'm hard on mine. Did it myself, too, so it's not that hard.

The 88's have a totally redesigned suspension and brakes, and I don't think either is shared with anything else GM makes, so parts for those areas are a PITA. Supposed to be a big improvement over the 84-87's Chevette- and Citation-sourced parts, but I don't know. I never drove an 88. The 88 GT's are the highest cost Fieros out there.

As far as insurance goes, I'm paying around $25-30/month for everything but collision, with State Farm, in Maine. I'm 38, married, accident and ticket free, been with State Farm since 1988. My wife won't drive it, so I'm the only one specifially covered, pleasure use only.

97 LX, 4.6, Dynomax catback, Mustang MAF/intake tube and Aviator throttle body, Xcalibrator2 by Lonnie at BOC, 180 t-stat, Super Coupe wheels with 235/60/16's, Kenny Brown strut tower brace, Tokico Blues, Eibach Pro-kit, some strategically placed MN12 Performance polyurethane pieces, '02 Grand Marquis transmission

Submariners do it deeper...

Last edited by terraplane8; 01-19-2006 at 09:54 PM.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 11:30 PM
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-20-2006, 11:44 AM
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Very good info. terraplane8. I think my insurance was slightly higher than that being a 16 year old at the time.

You are definitely right about the leaves and pine needless collecting in the vents in the rear. I was amazed how much stuff made it's way down there everytime I pulled one off to check the air filter cannister or battery.

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New Car...
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-20-2006, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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terraplane8, have you any idea on the time it might take to change the headgasket on the 4 cyl engine?

-Steven

Project Rust Prevention: 1990 Buick Regal, Toilet Capacity engine, new trim paint, 57K miles
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-22-2006, 05:22 AM
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I've never worked on a four-cylinder Fiero, but it's a day-long project on my V-6 (I've done it twice now, fixing broken exhaust manifold bolts; forgot to mention that one). I'd imagine the four would be a bit easier, but I can't really say for sure.

Pennocks tech board would be the best place to get any tips on the job.

97 LX, 4.6, Dynomax catback, Mustang MAF/intake tube and Aviator throttle body, Xcalibrator2 by Lonnie at BOC, 180 t-stat, Super Coupe wheels with 235/60/16's, Kenny Brown strut tower brace, Tokico Blues, Eibach Pro-kit, some strategically placed MN12 Performance polyurethane pieces, '02 Grand Marquis transmission

Submariners do it deeper...
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