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Thread: 1987 Pontiac Fiero GT looks like a Ferrari, helps you steal your neighbor's wife

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    Default 1987 Pontiac Fiero GT looks like a Ferrari, helps you steal your neighbor's wife

    1987 Pontiac Fiero GT looks like a Ferrari, helps you steal your neighbor's wife
    by Jeff Glucker (RSS feed) on Feb 11th 2011 at 7:24PM

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/02/11/v...ste/#continued


    1987 Pontiac Fiero GT gets girls, confounds 80's bullies – Click above to watch video after the jump

    The Pontiac Fiero was produced from 1984 through 1988 and the "fired-up" GT version was introduced in 1985. Just one year before the car's demise, Pontiac slightly updated the Fiero front and rear, greatly improving its appearance to most late-'80s buyers in the process.

    A video sales aid was produced to help dealers learn more about the Pontiac Fiero GT and the clip is pure, uncut 1987 packed into 6 minutes and 38 seconds. We won't spoil the entire clip but it features a nerdy Fiero owner, an 80's tough guy neighbor and that tough guy's jean-jacketed significant other.

    "Just like a Ferrari? Pretty close."

    Put on your acid wash jeans then click past the jump and take a trip back to a time when people confused Pontiacs for Ferraris. Poor guy in the Mazda RX-7 just didn't stand a chance... And now you know why hunting down dealer training materials is one of our favorite guilty pleasures.

    [Source: YouTube]

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    I think they have a couple of dates wrong in the article. I don't think GT model wasn't introduced in 1985. More like 1986 (later in the year), which was two years before production ended. Earlier in 1986, the SE model hit the streets.

    The SE has the most of the same body panels and the same rear spoiler. The only difference was the rear roofline. The GT has the two "side widows" and a long taper to the front of the spoiler. The SE had a much shorter taper. Both the SE and GT came with the 2.8L V-6 with either a 4-spd manual or auto in 1986 (the 5-spd manual wasn't available behing the V-6 until 1987 & 1988).

    I still have my 86 SE with the 4-spd manual. That car has always been fun to drive and handles very well. In many respects, the Fiero was ahead of its time technology-wise. Many of the features found in it were carried over onto mainstream cars of later years and today.

    Back in the 80's and early 90's when the highway speed limits were 55 mph, you could drive around 63 or 64 mph without getting pulled over in most states. With the gearing that came in my car, I would get 30 mpg routinely. I occassionally got as high as 32 mpg. Nowadays, the mileage is a little lower; about 27 to 28 mpg cruising at about 75 mph.

    The only complaint I had with the car was the "gap" in gear ratio from 2nd to 3rd. The car does accelerate very well, but it could do better with a closer ratio between 2nd and 3rd (the 5-spd manual addresses this). Mine has been very durable as well. It still has the factory spark plug wires on it No need to change them as they are still working just fine. I've replaced the clutch, the water pump (the seal crapped out because it had sat for too long), the clutch arm, and the distributor (the lower coil in the cap had rusted). Everything else is factory original except for the battery, tires, brake pads, belts, fluids, and spark plugs.
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    John, I knew you had a Fiero and you are correct the facts in the story above are a bit off..

    Still it was such a cool car especially with the V6...

    I remember years later test driving one and it was a blast! I really enjoyed the slot car like formula one driving experience..

    It reminded me of what fun cars are all about..

    Enjoy yours and you should post up a few photos! I'd love to see it.

    JB

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    I'll see if I can find some good photos to post up. I lost a ton of digital pics because of a hard drive crash a few years ago, so my "library" is fairly depleted.

    I need to do a good restoration project on it. It got sprayed with something several years ago and a lot of paint has come off as a result It also needs some new tires pretty badly. I don't have space to work on it down here, so it is at the MT house gathering dust right now.

    As another interesting side note.... When I was in college, my Dynamics professor was farily new to the University of Wyoming. Before he came there, he worked for GM. He was the engineering team leader that designed the frame for the Fiero. I can personally, attest to just how strong the frame in that car is. My former proff's design saved me from serious injury one night....
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    Can you just do a 225 dollar Maaco paint job on it....or do the plastic panels require something more involved.

    Years back I did the prep work on a car...then just drove over to maaco for their presidents day sale paint job..

    It came out beautiful for not a lot of money..

    What color is it and I believe with todays much larger tires...Discount tire direct would have tires available relatively inexpensive...

    I went with the hankooks Evo 12's on my c6, they are awesome and it cost me about t700 bucks delieved

    You should get that fiero back and running..

    Its a fun drive for sure! Looking forward to any photos you might have of it..

    What color?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBsC6 View Post
    Can you just do a 225 dollar Maaco paint job on it....or do the plastic panels require something more involved.

    What color?
    Not sure about the Maaco paint job. Because of the flexible panels, you do have to mix a flex additive in the paint. Prep work now is going to be on the difficult side on parts of my car. The urethane front bumper cover (remember the ones on the older Vettes?) is sagging in some places. It will take either a replacement or some TLC to "square things up" again. The other issue is what was sprayed on the car.

    Whatever it was ate completely through the paint on the upper part of the car. Everything is gone; even the gel coat on part of the roof fiberglass. My plan is to soda blast the entire car, so I can start over with a "clean slate." A couple fo the body moldings also need to be replaced...

    The color now is a custom dark blue metallic with silver metallic accents. I had completely repainted the car from its original silver metallic with black accents back in 1991 when my brother had wrecked it (minor damage, but the paint was all scratched on the hood and along both sides, front to rear). I figured a new color would give me better luck with the car (never had any mechanical issues with it, but it had one serious accident, a few hit & runs, and a few vandalism incidents before my brother wrecked it).
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    Wow...thats quite a life story on that nice fiero!

    I would imagine the soda blasting would be expensive or can you do it yourself?

    I would imagine if your going through the trouble to soda blast it...then a maaco paint job is not the right way to go..

    Too bad though because they did a nice job on my turbocharged 1976 lancia scorpion I had when I was a young man.........I remember when the fiero came out in 84 and 1985 with a V6.......I was in awe of its styling for it too was a mid engined sports car...

    Lots of torque and it promised to turn over every time you turned the key!!

    Great memories for sure as I imagine that fiero is for you.

    The V6 is the one to run although with that impressive chassis there were some bad @ss four cylinder and V8 conversions running around too...

    I think a few guys dropped in the quad four successfully...and a few V8's too..

    The chassis was unique and quite rigid if I remember correctly..

    All the body panels just screwed on under the moldings..

    Lots of kit cars were supposed to be generated off that chassis...They just needed to use the hard points...but even so...the fiero was such a good looking vehicle from the factory it was rare that many of the kits improved upon the looks..

    Do you agree? or did you dream one day of building a kit car..?

    I have an idea...how about buying one that doesn't work but has a perfect body? Then just bolt the body panels on that you need or all of them and then you don't have to soda blast it or paint it..

    I always liked all the body shapes...whether it was the original crisp 1984 body or the later SE or GT! Maybe the formula from 1988...

    That was supposed to be quite the dramatic suspension system...

    IF it were me? I'd look on craigslist.. I bet instead of painting it..you could just buy all new panels and bolt them on? Maybe just paint the roof black??

    just throwing out crazy ideas...

    Like I said...it was a beauty and really a unique manufacturing process too....

    Show us a photo no matter how bad it looks...It'll be fun if you can find one..

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    I've read where a few people have put LS motors in them. A very tight fit from the pictures I have seen. But I can just imagine what a stock LS would do to a Fiero much less one that has been warmed over.

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    I bet the LS powerplant doesn't weigh much more than the "iron Duke" yet the V8 might be a tight fit as you mentioned...

    I believe the real issue is keeping the transmission /transaxle together...

    Thats probably where it gets expensive...

    I wonder if the thing pops wheelies with a 500hp V8 in back..(kidding of course but it must be insane to drive...

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    Found this site: http://www.v8archie.com/v8Archie/Prod2.htm

    Yeah I think changing spark plugs is real entertaining.

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    that was an aweome link! Thanks for the read and the photos..

    Our Fiero V-8 Engine Conversion Kits allow you to install a small block Chevy engine into any 1984 thru 1988 Pontiac Fiero. They allow you to retain all stock options, including a/c. This kit is designed to be a bolt on installation with no frame cutting required. We have kits for all stick shift and automatic Fieros. The weight gain for a 4 cylinder to V-8 swap is about 150 pounds, depending on the V-8 engine used. Handling is affected slightly at the most. Engines that can be used include any small block Chevy from 1968 to present, note: on the 400 c.i. engine, our flywheel & Balancer will need to be balanced with your crank. You can use older engines if you have later model Cylinder heads. Note: We now have kits for the new LSx series of engines, you can find that info elsewhere on this site.

    Using engines in the 250 to 400 h.p. range, we have run in excess of 500,000 miles on our test cars, and have had very few drive line failures. It should be noted, however, even though we have had very few failures, that any motor vehicle can fail if subjected to severe and constant abuse. Most Fiero transmissions are now 20+ years old. Naturally low mile transmissions or freshly rebuilt transmissions are going to be more reliable than used transmissions that have been abused, neglected or have high mileage on them. Contrary to some of the claims made by others, we guarantee that the stock fiero axles won't break.

    Because of the fact that the stock Fiero transmissions are getting older and more worn as time goes on, I’ve developed a conversion kit that allows you to use the new G6 6 speed transmissions in your Fiero. You can find details of that kit on this Web Site.

    We have been producing, selling and installing the V-8 Archie Fiero V-8 Conversion Kits for over 20 years now. There are now more than 2500 of these V-8 conversions on the road in all 50 States, Canada, Central America, Europe and the Middle East. We first introduced our kit to the public in early 1988.

    Our V-8 kits are shipped from stock within days of your order.

    When buying kits of this type, be sure to compare and know exactly what is included and not included. Check out the supplier. You would not believe how many of these people will tell you what ever you want to hear to get your down payment. Check on the manufacturer through B.B.B., Kit Car Magazine, Internet Forums and the Complete Guide to Specialty Cars, be satisfied with the product and the supplier's reputation. Buy from the source, not from some want-to-be. Remember, if a deal sounds to good to be true, it most likely is. Don't send your down payment to some clown who hopes to get enough down payments to produce the parts that he claims to have "ready to ship".

    V-8 FIERO ENGINE SWAPS ARE NOT A SIDE-LINE WITH US.

    GO WITH THOSE WHO KNOW HOW TO DO IT RIGHT.

    THIS IS THE ORIGINAL & CORRECT V-8 FIERO KIT, NOT A COPY OF ANOTHER KIT.

    We did all of our own research & development, so we understand these kits better than anyone else can.

    You have seen our V-8 Fiero kits in action in all of the major publications. Many of our “in house” cars and dozens of our Customer built cars have been featured in all kinds of Automotive magazines. Prices for our V-8 conversion kits start at $950. Unlike the people who have copied my kits, I can supply you with all of the parts you'll need, Video instructions & the support you need to complete your project. You won't have to call me later to supply you the flywheels or other parts that they can't supply. You won't have to call me later to rescue you from the want-to-be who can't originate something of his own design and is unable to supply the parts he doesn't understand.

    I STAND BEHIND MY KIT. THE ADDRESS I USE IS MY SHOP ADDRESS. NO POST OFFICE BOX NUMBERS HERE. THE PHONE NUMBERS RING MY OWN PHONES, NOT SOME ANSWERING SERVICE.V-8 Installation Information

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    Yes, you are correct JB. For the time, the Fiero's construction was kind of unique. It had what they called a "space frame" that all the body panels simply attached to. You could take off all the "plastic" body panels and you'd still have a fully driveable/functional chassis. There is a lot of steel in that car, in spite of it being a "plastic car." The panels don't any any structural stiffness or rigidity to the frame of the car, unlike "unibody" construction or older framed cars.

    The 4-cyl models are easy to change the plugs. The V-6 version.... well, three of them are real easy, but the other three kind of suck. Those three you have to do soley by feel and you need to have a swivel joint for your socket wrench. I have fairly large hands and fat fingers, to tight spaces are real fun for me on any car. The first time I changed the plugs in the Fiero, it took a while to get those last three out. A lot of "colorful metaphors" were used in the process. With some practice (after doing it a few times) and the additionof the swivel joint to my tool box, I got the time down pretty low. I can change all the plugs in the Fiero quicker than I can in the Vette, easy. From what I've seen of the V-8 conversion, four of th eplugs would still be pretty easy. The last four would kind of suck...

    The V-8 conversion has been around for some time. Some of the early "upgrades" for the Fiero were swapping in the Quad-4 and a V-6 cam swap. With the cam, you also had to swap the PCM chip (no custom programing, like you can now). Some enterprising hot rodders did a couple of V-8 swaps many years ago. The first one I read about was a buily 400 ci V-8 with a tunnel ram and dual quads. The car looked stock until you got to the rear and saw the upper part of the tunnel ram and the carbs sticking through the deck lid. The owner was quoted as saying "It is real fun to blow by Porsches at 160 mph." This guy also swore he had measured and figured out how to stuff a BB Chevy V-8 in there I never saw or heard any more about that swap though... Another hot rod guy a little later swapped in a Caddie Northstar V-8. That car looked bone stock from the outside, but really hauled A$#. About the same time a "rumor" (confirmed by a friend from GM many years ago)leaked that GM (the "secret" test group) even played around with the swap shortly after the V-6 model was released. The car was so impressive that GM scrapped any plans to offer a V-8 version because they "couldn't have a different car that would outperform the Corvette" in all categories.

    With the kits, an iron (read old) V-8 swap is really pretty straight forward. It is a little more complicated for manual tranny cars because you have to change out the drive axles (the auto trannie cars you don't). One has to be longer and the other has to be shortened. You also have to replace the rear struts with Firebird front struts. Swapping in A LS motor would probably be a little more difficult because of the electronics and different motor mounts.

    As mentoined above, the body panes don't add any structural support, so they can be "creatively" attached. Ever see plastic pop-rivets? Well, there are several on the Fiero. There are also a lot of aluminum pop-rivets here and there. Most of the other fasteners are all smaller diameter as well. GM also changed midway through the 86 model year how a couple of the trim pieces are attached to the car. Just like in today's assembly lines, GM used up all the old stuff, then switched over to the new. As luck would have it, my car has the "old" fasteners on the driver's side and the "new" fasteners on the passenger side. The first time I took things apart, there was a fair amount of swearing involved. Of course, the official shop manual I bought way back when only shows the new fasteners, which made it more difficult to figure out.

    I've thought about buying another Fiero to use as a parts car. I almost bought one several years ago, but the guy wanted way to much for it. I still keep my eyes open for parts and cars though. For the stripping, there is a guy with mobile equipment that will come to your house/shop and do the blasting for you in Billings, MT. I just need to do the prep work (mask stuff off and take things apart). Cost-wise, his prices are really pretty cheap. Much cheaper and faster than me using chemical stripper and sanding (did that once before... never again). I just need the time to do all this.

    The only real downside I see to the V-8 swap is the range of the car afterwards. The Fiero only has a 10-gallon fuel tank. With my V-6, that puts the max range around 300 miles. This was another minor drawback for me when I used my Fiero as my main mode of transportation (back & forth to college and road trips). With a V-8, the mileage and range will drop some because of the gearing. If you're just going to use it as a "fun" car and not take trips with it, then no worries. Otherwise, I'd want to keep the range as close to 300 miles as possible. As an answer to the "must have more power" need, I came up with a plan to modify the 2.8L V-6 Vortech superhcarger kit for the Chevy S-10 and sketched out a possible single turbo mod. Just never actually built either one.... no time....
    Last edited by Donna_and_John; 02-15-2011 at 11:33 AM.
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    Here's a real Fiero GT. 1988 GT with 105 original miles on it when I bought in 1991. Less than 6,000 built. This was my keeper. I was going to put this in a garage and never drive it. Unfortunately, my EX decided she didn't want to drive her Vette, so she drove the sh*t out of my GT. It made me sick, so I sold it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    That was a smoking hot mid engine sports car frank!

    Always excellent taste in cars if not women!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
    Here's a real Fiero GT. 1988 GT with 105 original miles on it when I bought in 1991. Less than 6,000 built. This was my keeper. I was going to put this in a garage and never drive it. Unfortunately, my EX decided she didn't want to drive her Vette, so she drove the sh*t out of my GT. It made me sick, so I sold it.

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    Your right..that fiero was a cool ride in its day. Way ahead of its time.

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