My 87 Fiero GT - "Red Five"
I got my 87GT in October '91, and I have loved it ever since. Little did I know about those cars back then. When I went to the dealer I didn't know about the different body styles, years, etc. But when I saw the GT, I knew that was what I wanted. So I spent a little more than I had originally planned and got my medium red metallic V6 automatic. I had wanted an identical twin with a manual transmission, but that was another $1K more expensive, and I really didn't have that money, so I settled for the automatic.
In the following years the car has only given me trouble twice. After four hours on the highway at 110-120mph and then shutting the engine off, my water pump gasket left me stranded 100 miles short of getting home. A few days and $300 later I had her back. The other time I had trouble starting the engine when it was cold. It turned out to be the ignition module. The aftermarket replacement died only 6 months later, at which time I got a GM replacement which has been troublefree since. Moral: with electrical parts, only buy genuine GM/AC/DELCO parts.
In November '95 I finally got rid of the slushbox and upgraded to a manual transmission from a junked 85GT. After some clutch problems I have replaced the aluminum clutch pedal with a steel replacement, and things were fine from then on. The transmission still isn't as smooth as it could be, but as soon as I stumble across a 5spd from an 86-88GT, I'll replace the transmission anyway.
Recently I replaced the console support that had suffered multiple fractures. The operation took about 1.5 hours and the patient is doing well. I also repaired the subwoofer amplifier that only gave a rhythmic ticking sound. Since I also got a new driver's seat cover (from the silver 2m6), the interior is now mint, and the only thing that is not stock is the glove box I got from the Fiero Store. It is kind of nice, but starts shaking above 80mph. I got a brand new dash map pocket just in case I ever decide to go back to stock...I also replaced the driver side door hinge pins and bushings, but that wasn't a bad job, especially since I got a special tool to remove the door spring (the tool was $20 or so from Tools USA and is highly recommended).
Another project that is finally finished is a rebuild of a spare V6 I had for this car, this had been delayed since the crank in my spare V6 turned out to be a spot welded piece of crap. I bought a reconditioned crank while in the US in 1998, and since a Getrag is next to impossible to find in the country where it was designed, I decided to go with a 5spd from a 4 cylinder Fiero. If Archie finds it strong enough for a V8, I think it's good enough for our V6. I don't intend to race this car (not with these gas prices anyway), so hopefully it'll hold up.
I used the V6 clutch and pressure plate, and the Isuzu TO-bearing. Seems to work good, only time will tell if it'll last.
In October 2001 we finally mated engine and tranny, put the unit on the cradle, and installed it back into the car. The Isuzu shift cables unfortunately wanted to be in the same place as the intake hose, but a quick search through the web revealed that this could be cured by tilting the hose, which is what we did. We didn't get the dog bone to line up with the bracket though, for whatever reason. Maybe the Isuzu is located slightly different on the cradle? Well, a little bending on the bracket, and everything was tight. Next came the big moment, and guess what: the engine fired right up!
One problem was the lack of oil pressure though. The engine was a little noisy, so we decided this wasn't a gauge problem. The oil pump had pumped oil though when operated with an electric drill, so the pump itself was good. This leaves only the oil pump drive shaft as the culprit, and alas, it was! The hex shaft has a portion ground away for whatever reason, and this is exactly where the mating part is in the distributor gear! So, in effect, the shaft wasn't turning. Interestingly, if you put that part of the shaft into the pump, it should work. The old shaft does not have that groove, so we reinstalled the old shaft, and voila: instant oil pressure! They should put a note into those aftermarket oil pump's boxes to advise of this oddity.
Adjusted the timing, and the engine ran great. Since the car had been sitting for close to a year, the radio had mysteriously died (don't ask me, but this was a great excuse to buy a new one), and the alternator needed a while before it generated power again. Probably oxidization of some kind inside. Whatever. Other than that: a great feeling.
The clutch pedal feels totally different, it is very smooth and doesn't take Arnold Schwarzenegger to depress. The old shift cable was toast though, it had stretched beyond being adjustable, so I had to buy a new one (read: $$$).
Only one thing remains to be done now: I can't find the harness side connector for the Isuzu Backup Switch. Does anyone have a GM part number?
There have been visitors to this site since May 31, 2000.