1985 Pontiac Fiero: quite possibly the sportiest economy car out there! - Page 3 - Fuelly Forums

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Old 08-04-2007, 06:37 AM   #21
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funny that this thread woke up, I was trying trying to look into how to cut tempered glass as a result of looking at Dave Clouds chop top metro (from what I gather, you don't. Just keep the windshield in one piece and use lexan elsewhere) and ran across a place that does fieros. I thought it looked pretty cool.

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Old 08-04-2007, 07:54 AM   #22
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I wanted one of those cars as soon as I first saw them. What is really nice is the engine sits in a cradle. Drop the cradle out, pull out whatever is in there, and a small block Chevy will bolt right in. That eliminates the power issue.

The main problem with the Fiero was not engine fires, it was faulty wiring. This did cause a few engine fires, but the main problem was odd electrical problems that couldn't be traced. Pontiac had a lot of wiring problems in the 80s in almost all their models, but since the Fiero was a brand new design, it was hit harder by the electrical issues. Combine this with its slow speed, and you have a total model killer. A 2 seat sports car should not get whupped up on by a cookie cutter family wagon, but GM just can't seem to understand this.

What I really, really wanted to do with it was drop in a 400 small block into one, then put on a Ferrari Daytona Spyder kit on it. Kit Car magazine had one on their cover. A buddy had one and I was able to drive it OK even though I was 6ft 4 and 190lbs at the time. I doubt I could manage with one now though, having blown out a knee at the gym combined with gaining 40lbs since my teenage years. Waist measurement is still smaller than my inseam though.

Since going the distance without burning a lot of gas has become important to me, I've thought that the Fiero would make a great all electric commuter. There would be plenty of room in the engine bay for an electric motor strong enough to drive it 70MPH, and have enough battery packs to be able to do a full day's worth of errands on a single charge, if you used some of the latest battery packs to come along.

The kit would have looked like this:

Now the Buick Reatta is a car I may still do. I drove one a few months back, and it was a fine automobile. The engine bay is huge and the 3.8L is small in there, so it could be made to take anything. The interior already has the provisions for a tranny tunnel, so it could be made into a rear wheel drive easily. And, they turned out 25MPG with decent power on the old Gen 1 3.8L, a more modern 3.8 would probably get it into the 30s with even more power. And, the car is based on the Riviera, so a lot of the non-Reatta-specific parts will still be easily available. And, even though they are now almost 20 years old, they are still sharp, modern looking cars. I think what killed them is GM overcharges for cars like this, they were 45 grand in the 80s new. What is really, really nice about the Reatta is while it is a 2 seater, it also has room behind the seats and a decent sized trunk. You can recline the seats quite a ways back, stick a small ice chest back there for trips, ect, and you have enough room in the trunk for a couple of bags and a couple of sets of golf clubs. It would be the perfect vacation car. It would also be very well suited to an engine built for fuel economy seeing as the car weighs in at under 3400lbs, and there is a lot of useless weight on the car that can be removed. I figure the Reatta would also make an ideal all-electric commuter.


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Old 08-04-2007, 08:54 AM   #23
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one car i liked was the ford GT. supercharged 5.4L sitting right behind your head It was neat to turn your head and see the supercharger belt spinning behind the glass. 500hp is sweet and only had the one recall where the a-arms would crack.
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:07 PM   #24
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About the glass, I think its like any other mod, the more labor intensive it gets the less reproducible and the more expensive it will be. So, usually the best thing is to find ready made parts or glass from other vehicles/applications to fit your needs. Its really a universal idea to use off the shelf old parts and combine them in a unique new way.

my favorite thread
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:36 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ffvben View Post
one car i liked was the ford GT. supercharged 5.4L sitting right behind your head It was neat to turn your head and see the supercharger belt spinning behind the glass. 500hp is sweet and only had the one recall where the a-arms would crack.
On the road i live on it is really hilly and has s turns all over the place. i was pulling out of my drive way and one of those came by so i chased up to it and when i got there he hammerd it and took off down the road it was awsome! i was in our f 150 and it has the same engine in it its kinda cool to think about how different the car is but the same engine powers it as there trucks.
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Old 08-05-2007, 03:03 AM   #26
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For the diesel fans.

1987 Fiero, 4.3 Litre Diesel
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:37 AM   #27
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Sweet, diesel! I bet that moves very well with V6 diesel torque.

peakster: Sorry about your car, looks pretty good still, though, went right under the bumper of the SUV? Did it mess the suspension up? Looks like just a headlight and right fender....

As for the steering radius, do fieros have manual steering? If so I bet they kept a fairly number of turns lock to lock but limited it the max amount of steering (to make it easier to turn the wheel), also maybe they didn't want you to whip it around too fast and have the rear end come around on you?

Also (I realize you guys are mostly talking american cars but I just have to ask), have you driven a Mark 1 MR2 ever? I'm curious how it compared in feel and comfort. I just picked one up because it was cheap (at $300 delivered I couldn't say no) and I'd definately not describe it as having room to stretch out. I'm only 6' and only really fit comfortable with the TTop off. I also can't believe it'd be that safe, they seemed to make it as lightweight as possible and I can't see it taking much of an impact.

That's amazing you got 37MPG out of a 2.5L! I read on the MR2 boards that people get 25-30MPG with our little 1.6L and EPA was only 25. Even more strange are the HP numbers, our 1.6L was rated at 120HP. I would think the MR2 would have about the same aerodynamics and weighed less (about 2300lb from what I read), so it's odd how bad it is on gas. I plan on changing all that, of course, eventually whenever I get around to doing anything with it (it was cheap because it needs a clutch and I'm almost to the 1 year anniversary of owning it and doing nothing with it). I've only had it out a little bit, having a slipping clutch is a real detriment but it still out accelerates anything I've owned before and has incredible handling, I really can't wait to start tuning it 'someday'.

It's SOO ugly though, I wish it has the plastic panels like yours or a Saturn, lighter weight and no rust, plus easy to switch out. I've been looking for full plastic body kits but can't findanything, they are tons for the Mark 2 but none for the Mark 1.

Nice review, nice car.
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Old 04-12-2008, 07:55 AM   #28
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i got a mark 2 mr2 and it's the funnest car i have ever driven. yea i got around same millage but with new engine and a few mods, i get 34+ on highway. i 've had it for over a year and only replaced a couple things like new clutch and starter but overall very good car to drive. oh and very nice review, i'm going to do a write up very similar to yours but with an mr2
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:12 PM   #29
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I have an S10 with your engine. The flaming fiero problem was from people not keeping tabs on the oil so the engine would overheat, seize a bearing, throw a rod, and spit what little oil remained on the ehxuast manifold. using a V6 (I forget which) oil filter adds some capacity to the system to help with that.

because of the 3-speed auto giving such high highway RPMS, the fiber/laminate timing gear soemtimes wears down then explodes. replacements can be had for as little as $30 or 120-140 for all-metal gears but it's a pull-the-engine-out type job.

my S10 with it's lack of aerodynamics and 4-speed manual pulls pretty strong to the top of the speedometer (85mph) and then some sounds like it's trying to explode from the revs though so I typically keep it under 70 (before the 'you're going too fast' crowd chimes in, my mpg seems to be pretty proportional to my speed. my best mpg ever was doing the fastest sustained highway speed ever (75)

as for the fiero design/application, the thread was properly named...it's a sporty econo car. it was meant as a cheap econo car primarily, NOT a sports car. at the END of production they went "hey, people think this things a sports car" and actually used something other than leftover junk for the suspension and the 87 (or 88?) model years handled much better. the 2.8 V6 is a piece of junk by any standard. my old toyota 2.8 L6 from the same era is miles more advanced thus twice the power and half again the fuel economy.

as far as I can tell, The reason the duke gets such good mpgs vs the mr2 is that the duke is so undertuned and because of the excellent low end torque used for city driving. during normal driving, my truck is in 4th (last gear) by 30 mph (wild guess ~1000 rpm) and can accelerate fine from there wheras a toyota 4A, 3S, or whichever one they put in the MR2 has to get some revs behind it before it starts to get going. the low tuning comes into play with the above mentioned lack of heat: I have a full grill block and had to add 1/2 radiator block below 40f to get the engine up to (and stay at) operating temps. yes the coolant system is fine
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:11 AM   #30
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Wasn't the Fiero drive trail sourced from the Citation? They just turned it around for RWD? Citation was a good econo car at the time.

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