G.T. Fieros

Greater Toronto Fieros
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 Post subject: Sarge's Fiona Project
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Location: Kingston, Ontario
I'm going to start this here, and hopefully keep it updated with my plans and changes.
Slowly changing my 86SE 2m6 into something I like more and more.

Currently on the list are:
  • Re-paint/finish the wheels (scheme to be decided)
  • New Tires
  • Black/Grey seats/covers
  • Headliner repair-finish (FieroStore fiberglass liner didn't have all the lines right)
  • Complete interior colour change/swap
  • Suspension swap (KYB and lowering springs in rear, KYB and cut springs in front)
  • Endlinks and Balljoints (possibly 1" drop instead of cut spring - WS6)
  • Poly cradle bushings (in the mail)
  • Power mirror install
  • Custom rear lip spoiler (while keeping the luggage rack)
    - --> spare decklid to create engine vent (wanting to keep original panels/paint for now)
  • Custom hood vent (spare hood)
  • Skitime lip spoiler (started prep of spare bumper)
  • Side quarter vents
I'll add to this list and give progress as I go along. Hopefully taking pictures too... have to charge up the camera first.
Now if only the weather would warm up a bit so I can work outside and not in my crammed basement storage unit.

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Last edited by sargeants on Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:46 pm 
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me likes her & your plans; keep us posted & with pics. :geek:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:56 am 
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I've been working with a few ideas for the wheel paint, and believe I've come up with my final idea.
Inner parts will be black, and the tops of the spokes will be gold with a gold ring. This is the best I could come up with in Paint.net. I'm really working with the gold/black combo.
I have also lowered it and added an idea for the side scoop (duplicated on the other side). Not sure whether it will be an indent scoop or an outer scoop, but I'm kinda liking the indent one - with the grills.
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Another rim idea is just the spokes gold, like so.
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So far I've got one wheel stripped down. Used a nylon wheel and drill to remove the most of the factory coating. Then I went over it with some 180 and 320-wet sandpaper to bring it to a nice shine.
If I liked the chrome/polished look, this would be a great start to making them beeeutiful.
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This weekend I'll be working on the others... along with re-arranging my storage area with the added goodies I picked up. Plans for the rear spoiler is to mirror the decklid rear angle and then attach it via the mounts where the end luggage rack attach... making it easily swap-able. Maybe when I get to the other decklid for the engine scoop/vent I'll integrate it right in.
Thoughts so far?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Haven't done much yet, but have organized my storage/workspace a bit.
I've now got some tools hanging up and out of the way, but accessible when needed... less time spent digging in my toolboxes looking for them. Some more organizing going on tonight.

Also got my cradle bushing in today. Nice to have on hand when the time comes.
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With the parts I got recently, I've cleaned them up a bit and stripped down most of the paint, at least the added stripes and original clearcoat. Those sanding sponges at Walmart are great, especially for $1.
I've started sanding and filling in some imperfections with the bumper spoiler, won't trim it down to size until warmer weather to have fresh air... might get impatient and get a hacksaw blade though. ;)
For the taillights I got, I've started with a little wetsand 600grit to remove the PO's added paint. I'll step up to 800 grit then use my headlight cleaning kit I've got to really make the outsides shine. Starting to figure out what I'm wanting to do with them. Thinking either PONTIAC or FIERO painted in the middle... or maybe both. Whichever I choose will be LED backlit when the driving lights are on, don't think I'll hook it up to the brakes though.

I'm going to be making a cardboard/fiberglass template to fill in the rims so I can get an even paint spread for the gold spokes and keep the black on the inner parts.
Will also be making a few 'molds' of the stock vent inner and outer edges so I can duplicate it. I won't be keeping the large size hole, but keeping the angle of the slope into the vent. I've got the idea in my head, and will get pictures once I start. The fiberglassing will wait till it's a warmer day so I can let it set and smell outside. Will be making a small work space outside as well with a small bench and a tarp 'tent'. Going to be better now that one tennant has left and the replacement doesn't drive, so I can setup my outdoor shop right by the Fiero as I park beside it rather than in front.

I'm also looking forward to the next free-parts day at Standard. Keeping my eyes on different driving/fog lights to be used in the lip spoiler. Seen a few good factory ones from late 90's early 00's Accords, but having a tough time finding pictures of them online. Look to be a fairly flat and a nice height (approx 1-2") which will fit in the 3" lip nicely. Though may end up with 'Mercedes-style' LEDs.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:36 am 
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Call me crazy, but I spent Saturday all lazy inside playing games. But Sunday I decided to go down and do some work.
Saturday was warmer, and had some nice sun shining, whereas Sunday was colder, and even brought a little dusting of snow... not the best for doing fibreglass.

Either way I went at a second wheel and got it all stripped down and 300grit wet-sanded. I was going to start my masking template, but decided to clear up a bit more space by trimming down the bumper into the lip 'spoiler'.
I did find my sawblade, but instead used a utility knife to cut along the line. I've got some trimming and sanding to do, but it's a start. Thought I'd also add a little fibreglass backing to the underside piece so it doesn't have large waves. Planning on making some pieces to slide and clip to the original bumper to help remove the waves as well... hopefully my idea works.
Will likely add some fibreglass to the inside bits so it will bolt up nicely, and will make some fibreglass strips to be used in the original bumper to help with keeping straight without too many bolts going through. More on that later.
I've got this in the car 'cooking' right now. I first laid a small patch in the middle to fill the gap and let that set in the little bit of sun yesterday. But the longer strips didn't get any sun to set them up nice, so still a little tacky.
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I've got a piece of wood attached on the other side with some small screws. Once this sets up I'll pry the wood off and cut the screw tips and fill in the little holes. Need to get more glass resin and bumper repair stuff for that.

I also laid some glass onto the side panel to get a little mould.. not the greatest, but will work. Measured and started to trim out the lower vent area so it can then be flexed and glassed into place. I have a feeling I will do this a few times.. still visions in my head. As long as the weather prediction holds I'll be doing a bunch of glass-work Saturday.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:27 pm 
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I got the tires removed from the rims this week. So I'll get to finishing stripping the rims this weekend.... thankfully it looks like the warm weather is on it's way.

Today I got the strut nuts removed, the bolts don't want to budge (tips?). I'm using the MasterCraft electric impact, took a bit to get the nuts off, but pulled off nicely.
I also took the replacement struts and springs apart ready to get stripped and re-painted. Did a basic clean/rust knock off.

Somehow I managed to get the passenger-side calliper off using a Torx-45, but can't seem to do the same with the driver-side. Guess I need to get the proper one to get that one off. I'm going to drain the fluid so that I can fully remove and paint the callipers.

Removed the driver-side tie rod, and found out I'll need to drop the exhaust to get the passenger-side? Maybe I can do that while I'm changing the cradle bushings.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:45 pm 
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Little patients and heat, everything will come loose 8-) I've taken both rear tie rods off before without removing the exhaust, just takes a little long at an awkward angle and two - three clicks at a time on the ratchet.
Sometimes I've found that I had the free the bolt by hand first and then the impact gun can do the rest. Since the nuts are off, you can move the bolts any direction, get a LONG pry bar to stick over a 1/2" Johnson bar and heave (carefully) :shock:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Guess I should've grabbed a bar from Princess Auto earlier - were on sale till yesterday, thought it was this weeks sale I was looking at :(
Can't find the specs now, but maybe the air impact will give more torque to get 'er done... will see Saturday I guess....having doubts.

I've got no heat to play with, so hopefully it's a really sunny day - haha :P
Going to make my rim templates tomorrow night so that I can use them for painting soon.


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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 10:09 pm 
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Well I've gotten some parts removed and still got a few more to go.
Driver side rear control arm is off, transmission seals are out (axles pulled out nicely, and boots are in good condition). Will have to cut off the nuts (bolts?) for the passenger side, and not sure about the front yet. Waiting on Rodney's balljoint tool.

I've got my other 2 wheels stripped and sanded down, made 2 templates to sit in between my spokes so I can paint the rims 2-tone. Going to get some flat black, and use the Duplicolor Gold PaintShop for the spokes and ring around... think that's the style I'm going to go.

Cleaned up the rear knuckles and brake brackets, will get to the rotors and hub soon. Think the one hub is starting to show signs of wear, but I don't want to deal with that... cause if I replace one I might as well replace both.. and thats yet even moore money to spend.... maybe I should just do it - only $100 more

Rodney Dickman parts are ordered and shipping - sorry, should have asked anyone if they wanted anything - Rob R - if you see this, I got 1 of the gauge ends for you.

Noticed today that my DD front CV boot decided to destroy itself... stopped at CrappyTire to pickup a uni-fit one and the one I stopped at didn't have them. Getting 2 tomorrow during lunch and going to replace both sides since the passenger side isn't looking like it'll last much longer. Not sure of the inners.. and haven't really noticed any awful noises while turning or driving... hopefully tomorrow doesn't destroy the joint. Not bad, 10 years and 274Kkms of South Korean quality there.

Could post up pics, but nothing special or good quality. My camera likes to eat batteries (even lithium ones), so I don't use it much....and just use my BB Curve 3g :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 9:34 pm 
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I posted one pic up on Faceboook, thought I should include it here and give an update.

The weekend was cold, so I didn't feel like doing too much. That and I was messing with my DD to adjust/replace the CV boots.
I had the driver boot split on me and grease everywhere, so I got a quickboot replacement and slapped that on, and hunted down a second for the passenger side which was sure to rip anytime. Well the driver boot didn't seal properly on the joint, so grease only slightly everywhere. Replaced the passenger side Saturday, drove it Monday and realized that it too didn't seal properly and grease almost as much as the original driverside tear. GREAT!! Well that's $50 and time that I won't get back... I don't recommend those quickboots!!
I've currently got one axle shaft in my car, the other should have been delivered along with it, but isn't for some reason - hoping for tomorrow.

This way I get to do a trans fluid change - which hasn't been done in ohhh... I dunno, near 100-150000kms/3-4 years - man the time flies!

Anyways - onto Fiero stuff.
I got the rear suspension fully taken off and cleaned up a bit underneath. Burnt out the rubber bushings from the control arms. Will drop the cradle a bit Saturday and get those bushings removed/replaced. Poly all around. Going to spray some Rockerguard on the cradle and frame to prevent any rust from really building up. The rails are solid with only minor surface rust at the seams. Will also paint the control arms.
ImageImage

Hoping for Rodney's parts to show up so I can fully take apart the front end before the weekend. Headed up to the in-laws, and could persuade the F-i-L to use his welder for the drop balljoints in the front.

Received my first batch of parts today - even though I ordered them last.. go figure.
Original struts don't look too bad, but after changing the front shocks last summer could definitely tell that the car was floating before.
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New stuff - KYB Excel-G struts with mounts should be a nice replacement. The ones I picked up from Rob last summer didn't seem to react well with pushing/pulling - very uneven, so they're going bye-bye
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Though I do believe I'll be using the springs that came with 2 of them... on the left
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Supposed to be lowering springs, but don't know if they just compress more once loaded, or if they should be shorter to begin with. These are ones that Joe apparently used to sell/install. By the looks of them, if I wanted to drop more I could cut a bit of the top coil since that portion isn't progressive - at least not for 3 rings. Will see how they make the car sit once all installed. Can always cut some off later. Going to really clean them up this weekend and hit them with some paint to make them look a bit nicer.

Did a test paint/primer with the templates I've been making... and well - almost worked nice, but I don't think I'm going to use them. So maybe either just some painters tape, or I'll just 1-tone the rims and be done with it. I'm starting to worry about painting the rims.. but don't want to pay for a pro to paint them... might as well buy new ones.

More to come this weekend now that the warm weather is here.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:02 am 
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So it's been forever since I updated this. Thought I should at least get caught up.

I got the car finished and drivable for Indy. It made it there, and got a few push starts on the way home, but made it. Since coming back it's just been parked with the cover over it.
Tonight I'll be taking the cover off a bit and removing the one rear wheel. Seems I have a piece of wood shanked in my brand new tire. :evil: Will be taking it into CTire to have them repair it for free.
I'm also going to check the starter to see if it's completely dead, or maybe something has just come loose on the trip? If it's dead I'll be looking into a GrandAM/Prix starter.

I also need to check the frontend to see if I can figure out why it didn't drop any height after installing Rodney's 1" drop ball joints... That is after the shop installed a replacement balljoint after compressing one... which they said they didn't do. :roll: (scratches shop off the trusted list).
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So pictures - cause everyone likes pictures more than ramblings.
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Somehow I managed to get the upper control arms installed on the wrong sides...
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After installing everything back, axles and new fluid I wanted to give it a run through to make sure I got the fluid topped up. When turning the engine over a horrid noise came and followed revs. Thought of possibly exhaust clog(CAT/mouse), cut and pulled the cat down to do a check - all clear.
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Turns out I must have hit the already bent flywheel shield, pushing it into the flywheel... oh well, got to fix the leak at the clamps.

A few rainy days had me turning my bench into a tent to get the final steps done.
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ON THE GROUND!!
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Hmmm.. seems the front is higher, maybe it will settle after driving a bit. 1" difference measured at the rockerpanel front and back. :?
For comparison of height - check the front rim with the body moulding and wheel centre. A picture from a few years ago... stock height with the same rims. Will have to find/scan the picture I have of the first day in the same spot to show the difference/similarity.
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Alignment time - took 3 attempts to get it proper and held in place.
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Should have bought camber bolts... oh well, next summer.
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The mechanic said I'd be fine to drive to Indy with this setup.... uhh what?! Look at that pigeon toe!
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Paid them to remove my 3broken front swaybar bolts. The got 2 out by drilling, and the third they burnt and twisted, but couldn't get it. Why they didn't drill it as well beats me. Then said I should take it to a shop with a welder to have them remove it... why don't they have a welder, they have a torch!?!
Nice that they used vicegrips to adjust my toe... and not even in the proper spot... ass... another shop scratched off the list.
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But just look at this clean rust-free trunk!!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:01 pm 
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I don't know why I hadn't seen your thread before, but I wanted to chime in about your rear springs.

When I bought my car I thought it was stock. When servicing the front shocks I thought to myself that the springs looked a little "off" (colour, tags vs what OEM would be) and after some web searching I'm 99% certain that my car has been equipped with "ST" Lowering springs. The shape/size/colour matched photos I found in comparisons between stock/Intrax/ST springs.

This isn't my photo but it's exactly what mine looked like right down to the tag on the front one.
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I believe the rear coil you had on the right was a stock coil that was cut.

The rear springs that you installed are identical to mine. I could tell by the shape, number of coils and the colour where they weren't rusted - the image of them is fresh in my mind because I just did my struts last week. Your rear wheel gap looks nearly identical to mine - but my front sits much lower, appears to be almost level with the rear. My car has the matching springs on the front though, and from what I have seen stock lower BJ.

Don't cut any coils on those rear springs, but if you want I think you can cut into the stock front coils down a bit. Just be warned the ride gets stiffer and you will hit bump stops from time to time. I had contemplated going back to stock springs but after thinking about it and discussing with the wife I decided to stay with what I had. FWIW the new rear struts made a MASSIVE difference in how the car drives with the lowering springs compared to the stockers. My car has Monroe on all 4 corners.

I'm just chipping in incase you didn't know what you had.

I know it's not the best pic, but here's my cars stance with the same rear springs and matching fronts. I can graba full side-on if you need.
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If it makes you feel any better it took my alignment shop 2.5 hrs to align it properly (and I did pay a little extra for that) - but with that said everything is tight, nothing is damaged and the car was driving straight from the moment I left the parking lot.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Thanks for the input and pics. That's the look I'm going for, nice and level... and lower than stock. I can't remember what the rear springs are... whatever Joe used to sell apparently, got the springs from Rob (notch8)
I know for a (90%)fact that what I pulled off was factory original from 176Kkms ago. 3rd owner and had it for 10 years / ~90Kkms. Factory stickers were still somehow attached.
If it was a stock coil that was cut, I'd be scared to see how tall it was before hand! The pics with the silver rims are with no suspension modifications. The very first pic was 2011, and the other one was likely the spring before when I was about to get it appraised. Yes I got it appraised with parts in the trunk and dirty wheels.

I'm happy with the rear with where it's sitting, aside from the little camber adjust needed... what I was aiming for as far as height. Not going to cut the rears, I know I mentioned it before, but wasn't sure how they were going to sit/settle.
The fronts however, even after putting in Rodney's 1" lower balljoints, I'm sitting the same height as I was before all this work! uhh :?:
Maybe it's the new spring mounts, maybe it's the stock WS6 springs, maybe it's the slowly leaking KYB shocks (changing them next year) - who knows... but all that work for "nothing". I'll figure it out, and likely end up cutting a coil, 1.5 or 2 from the front.... bit by bit till it looks right.
First, going to re-torque things while there's load.. even though that shouldn't matter with the poly. Worth a try before really diving in/cutting.

Oh - for those wanting to know. You can "safely" drive the Fiero with NO front swaybar and still feel very confident in turns and on the highway. I still have the swaybar sitting in the trunk waiting for me to remove that one bolt the shop couldn't get (but still had to pay for their time.. I understand, but grr!!). I felt as confident in it with no swaybar as I do in my new DD Rio5. Must add though that I do have a front swaybar attached to the rear... so that likely helped.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:19 am 
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Ok cool. I had never seen a stock spring so I was just guessing based on looking at them. I thought you had tried to lower on those and then switched them.

If you need camber bolts for the rear I ordered a pair off of Rockauto for dirt cheap. They were TRW on close-out. Got them for like $4 each plus shipping. Even with the shipping it was cheaper than one here, just had to wait for them to come in. I was under $20 total cost for both.

Not sure if they still have them but it might be worth a look if you need them.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Now that I don't need the bench outside above the car, I'm moving it downstairs into my storage space to replace the workspace I have there. Not as large as outside, but enough for smaller projects.
I'm also going to be re-making my wooden ramps so I can park the car on the ramps and be able to get my jack under to lift it up. Joys of lowering a car.

I should be able to get the storage/workspace sorted this week and then Saturday I'll be able to pull the starter off and see what it's doing.
After the show on the weekend on the Danforth, I was noticing a little extra noise when starting. But at the end of the day (5pm) it needed a push - surely the heat all day didn't help anything.
I May repair it, replace with stock, or upgrade to a GrandAm or Prix starter. What year motor GrandAm /Prix are compatible? Assuming it would need to be a v6 - but any better than the other?

On the list after the starter, is to check the front springs. Then see about putting the front swaybar back in. Then work on the front lip spoiler so it can be installed before I park it for Winter.
*my landlord is not wanting me to take up 2 spots this winter due to $n0# removal. It was a bit interesting last winter with the heavy $n0# falls... though I think I cleared more $n0# than the hired plow people.
So I've got to take it back to my parents and park it there... they don't know that yet though.. :P I'll just have to work on some other things indoors... like the power mirrors and other touch-up items.

Ordering the camber bolts now. Might change them before the fall. Since the toe is adjusted I'm not too worried about messing things up that much... just need to tip it in a ways. When I adjust the front springs it should even out as well.


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